[VivaTech] Africa takes centre stage


Africa is in the spotlight at Viva Technology 2018! As one of the cornerstones of the event, Afric@Tech will bring together start-ups, investors and businesses at the forefront of the continent’s digital transformation to highlight this rapidly growing ecosystem. Here’s a round-up of everything happening in African digital innovation along with the dedicated initiatives Orange has put in place.

A digital and entrepreneurial boom right across the content

Already an extremely dynamic market, Africa is poised to become a high growth target with an estimated population of 1.4 billion people by 2021 – owning one billion smartphones between them. The priority today extends beyond network accessibility into the energy sector. While many players, with Orange as a leader, are investing heavily in connectivity, the African digital ecosystem is also developing solutions based on ‘low-tech’ resources.

Africa, land of the mobile payment

Low penetration rates in terms of banking and Internet connectivity in Africa have brought about the development of other peer-to-peer payment methods that can adapt to local constraints. Among the more famous is Orange Money (opens in a new window). Born from a much-needed innovation – exchange of Orange credit between customers to replace cash – this solution processed transactions worth a total of 14.5 billion dollars in 2016. This success is partly due to its technical simplicity, as it’s based on SMS and USSD.

USSD, SMS and API, spearheads of digital innovation

The USSD protocol enables mobile phones to access digital services using 2G connectivity and SMS communication for updating a social media status, making an online purchase or carrying out a peer-peer payment. Automating these inexpensive bearers through APIs can lead to powerful new uses, especially in the fields of connected agriculture, e-health and e-commerce (opens in a new window).

Orange APIs for Africa and the Middle East

To help developers and mobile service providers overcome certain barriers to development, Orange offers a suite of dedicated APIs which are organised around three pillars:

Discover more about these APIs and more on the Orange Developer (opens in a new window) website, and find out how they can help you develop, distribute and monetise digital services in Africa and the Middle East.

Presenting at VivaTech 2018

Orange will be surrounded by several start-ups that focus on Africa and the Middle East, including several from the Orange Fab network. Among them, you’ll be able to meet:

What’s more, don’t miss the VivaTech International Demo Day where start-ups from the last season of Orange Fab from Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Asia will come and pitch their solution to the world!

Orange, partner for digital transformation in Africa and the Middle East

For several years, Orange has provided financial and personal support systems to help accelerate start-ups in this region. Here’s a recap.

Read on:

> “We highlight African entrepreneurs who can show the way for others” : interview with Ludovic Centonze, Orange Fab International Business Development.

> Infographic: Orange Digital Ventures Africa (opens in a new window)