Africa innovates Magazine -AI4DEV - Flipbook - Page 49
DA O U DA H A M A D O U ( N i g e r )
INTERACTIVE VOICE SERVICE
This ingenious Interactive Voice Service
(IVR) stands out not just for its originality
and how it communicates important COVID-19 messages to those without internet
access, but also for its potential to scale
up and to co-opt multiple other fields.
Stop Corona 701 was developed by Daouda Hamadou
– a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) honouree,
in collaboration with three Nigerien start-ups: NOVATECH, Dev4Smart and Visicom. The innovation enjoys
the support of the National Agency for the Information
Society (ANSI), Niger’s Ministry of Health, and four of
the country’s mobile telephone operators: Airtel Niger,
Orange Niger, Moov Niger and Niger Télécoms.
The app allows all subscribers of these four mobile operators to dial the number 701 for free, to access a broad
range of COVID-19 messages. The information comes in
4 of Niger’s main indigenous languages: Zarma, Haoussa,
Fulfudé and Kanuri, as well as in French.
previously worked in the energy and mining industry,
At present Hamadou is looking for partners to expand
the app and incorporate other public health, education,
agriculture and security.
“We believe that our innovation COVID-19 prevention messages that it offers, saves lives – particularly
those in rural areas where there is no internet access. In
addition, our platform can be scaled up and be adapted
to include other sectors such as education, agriculture, environment and conflict prevention,” concludes
P L AT FO R M H A S H E L P E D
Hamadou believes that African innovation such as Stop
Corona 701 can save thousands of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those in rural areas, where
there is little or no access to the internet.
To date they have handled more than 26,000 calls
from all over Niger. The platform has helped thousands of
rural Nigeriens with vital information on COVID-19 with
just their phone and without internet. “They just call the
number for free, and listen to the COVID-19 prevention
messages. And they can do so in their own local languages,” Hamadou who comes from the telecoms sector and
SHOWCASING AFRICAN INNOVATION 49