This service integrates the following Orange API : SMS API.
Mamadou Bah has spent the last few years trying to connect people. CEO of Banki Technology, Mamadou has integrated Orange APIs into several of his business efforts including a registration tool for the Ministry of Education (SMS API and Orange Money) and lotto solution for the general public (SMS API). His mobile agricultural platform, Agro-Business Guinea, is designed to put farmers and consumers in touch with one another. Recently, it incorporated the Orange SMS API to reach even more people. As Mamadou explains below, the API has paid immediate dividends in a country that still relies heavily on text messages to do business.
Agro-Business was born out of a straightforward problem. Farmers and buyers in Guinea have long suffered from an information deficit. Some farmers in the interior of the country may produce a lot of corn, for example, but they had trouble finding a market for it. And in Conakry, we saw many buyers who couldn’t find what they were looking for.
To bridge the gap, my team and I created a mobile and web platform where buyers could easily find the agricultural products they were looking for, and where farmers could list everything they had to offer. The aim was to add some much-needed transparency to the agricultural market.
From the outset we faced significant challenges because of the undeveloped nature of local internet infrastructure here in Guinea. However, we knew that 90% of farmers used mobile phones, so we designed Agro-Business to be an entirely telephone-based platform.
A major turning point for us came at the Orange Developers’ Challenge in September 2015, where we were able to integrate the latest APIs developed by Orange. Our team focused on the SMS API, which allowed us to send text messages — either in bulk or to individuals — through a third-party service, reducing costs and improving efficiency.
The Developers Challenge enabled us to take advantage of the expertise, support and experience that Orange offered. While the SMS API guarantees that farmers and buyers will receive the information they need as soon as possible, and at minimal cost. For a market like Guinea, that kind of transparency is hugely important.
Going forward, we plan on incorporating other Orange services within Agro-Business, after seeing the positive impact that the SMS API had for our users. The next one we’re looking at is the Direct Carrier Billing service, which would allow for direct monetary exchanges on our platform.
It’s really about responding to the needs of our clients and I’m certain the Orange developer program will help us do that.