Botswanan startup wins Orange AMEA Developers Challenge

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Botswanan startup FarmConnecta, which has developed an information sharing and billing system for the agricultural community, has been named the winner of the Orange 2015 AMEA Developers Challenge, walking away with EUR10,000 (US$11,000) in prize money.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this year Orange has launched the challenge in Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal, as well as France and Jordan.

The purpose was to help stimulate innovation in Africa by offering startups the possibility of using Orange’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to enrich their applications with functionalities such as billing or texting.

Orange announced the winners during the Cairo ICT event, with first place going to FarmConnecta. The startup has created a mobile marketplace dedicated to livestock trading, allowing users to access market data and locate lost cattle via mobile.

Second place went to Egyptian startup Nilebot, which uses a hardware and software solution for real-time measurements of water quality in aquaculture, while DRC startup Cycle M came third for its family planning system for mobiles.

Orange said it had received 1,200 applications for the challenge, which was aimed at marking the acceleration of Orange’s Open Innovation initiative in Africa and the Middle East by opening up the company’s technical platforms and providing support for local developer ecosystems.

“The proposed projects illustrated the potential of telecommunications for regional development in fields as varied as healthcare, agriculture, education and energy,” Orange said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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