Botswana’s FarmConnecta wins Orange Innovation Award

FarmConnecta, a Botswana-based start-up that has developed an information sharing and billing system designed for the agricultural community, has won a prize valued at 10,000 Euros from the 2015 Orange AMEA Developers Challenge.

FarmConnecta users can access market data and locate lost cattle via a simple mobile telephone. FarmConnecta takes full advantage of the Texting and Billing APIs to revolutionize m-agri applications in Botswana and potentially everywhere in Africa.

The challenge saw 1,200 startups apply to stand a chance of using Orange’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to enrich their applications with functionalities that are sometimes essential, such as billing or texting.

Applications were from France and 11 other countries in Africa and the Middle East: Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal participated in fields as varied as healthcare, agriculture, education and energy.

Originally, ten projects per country were chosen for the shortlist. Twelve finalist projects were then chosen by a selection panel composed of experts from Orange and from the Information Technologies and Communications industry.

The second winner is the Nilebot start-up from Egypt which uses a hardware and software solution for real-time measurements of water quality in aquaculture. All the collected data is sent via text message in real time, helping aquaculture professionals to be more proactive and to improve their productivity.

The third is the Cycle M start-up from the Democratic Republic of Congo which has developed a family planning system for mobiles (based on an application or through texting). It provides a tool that can be used to calculate a woman’s menstrual cycle and identify important dates, in particular to avoid unwanted pregnancies and births.

Orange offers access to the Texting API in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Niger and Senegal, and to the USSD and Billing APIs in Egypt.

Source: Footprint to Africa

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