Emerginov, an innovative solution for mobile services development in Africa
Emerginov is a software solution produced by Orange Labs. It incorporates multiple open source software components and enables the development of applications based on SMS or on vocal interfaces.
Together with mobile-embedded technologies, the solution can provide simple services, giving the mobile user access to expertise or to content in different fields such as health, agriculture and trade.
By opening up the code, Orange is following through on its commitment to providing innovation players in Africa with a set of customized open tools enabling rapid prototyping of services over telecom networks.
The programme is hosted by the OW2 consortium, an open source forge devoted to middleware of which Orange is a founding member. With Emerginov, Orange's ambition is to co-build a library of license-free micro-services in order to nurture the dissemination of ideas originating in the field to mobile users.
Orange’s Emerginov platform
Orange’s Emerginov platform is already used for competitive programming as well as research contracts with African universities (University of Dakar, ESMT and Université Gaston Berger in Senegal, University of Technology and University of Mauritius, and the University of Botswana).
Emerginov is also used extensively in connection with cooperative projects with NGOs and local and international institutional players, including:
- a remote training initiative for Madagascan teachers. Equipped with a mobile phone and a solar recharger, teachers can access educational content embedded in their phones and may leave questions on a voice server; they receive an SMS when the answers are available. A secure payment system via Orange Money was also set up, and tutors as well as teachers may now go to Orange boutiques to collect their compensation. The operation is led by the French remote teacher training initiative (IFADEM, Initiative française pour la formation à distance des maîtres) in partnership with Orange and the French Development Agency (AFD, Agence française de développement).
- experiments with m-health in Senegal and m-agriculture in Mali using features of Emerginov are in progress as part of the VOICES project (VOIce-based Community cEntric mobile Services for social development) funded by the European Commission. The objective is to broaden access to the Internet in West Africa via the mobile telephone.
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