Africa
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African Influencers For Development 

Daouda Hamadou 

Stop Corona 701 – Interactive Voice App

(Niger)

This ingenious Interactive Voice Service (IVR) stands out not just for its originality and how it communicates important COVID-19 messages to those without inter- net 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: NOVAT- ECH, 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 op- erators 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.

Hamadou believes that African innovation such as Stop Corona 701 can save thousands of lives during the COV- ID-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 languag- es,” Hamadou who comes from the telecoms sector and previously worked in the energy and mining industry, says.

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,” he says Hamadou.

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