Sproxil to curb drug counterfeiting with Airtel
INNOVATIONS| Aug. 28, 2012, 3:06 p.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
Sproxil, a venture-backed and social enterprise firm that provides world-class brand protection services in emerging markets has partnered with Bharti Airtel to combat the counterfeit drug market in Africa.
A cording to a statement made available to the local media by Edith Tsilizani, who is Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager for Airtel Malawi, the two firms sealed the partnership in Nairobi yesterday.
Sproxil’s Mobile Product Authentication TM (MPATM) solution helps ensure purchased goods are not stolen or counterfeit by allowing consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text message.
Sproxil CEO Dr. Ashifi Gogo acknowledged during the signing ceremony that building relationships with individual telecom companies and acquiring the short codes necessary for their MPA solution in each country can take a considerable amount of time as it slows down deployment.
“By working with Airtel, we can get short codes in various countries different markets from just one company, streamlining the process and ‘turbo charging’ our expansion throughout the region,” said Gogo. “For the consumers it’s a win-win – two advanced technologies working together: Airtel’s network provides high quality, very affordable telecom service enabling consumers to take advantage of Sproxil’s brand protection solution, at no cost to them.”
He says compatible with any tangible item; Sproxil’s solution is widely used by leading pharmaceutical companies to curb the multi-billion dollar counterfeit drug industry.
Now with the partnership, the two firms say the service will allow consumers to verify genuine Medications on mobile phones within no time through a text message.
The initiative is aimed at bringing drug authentication service closer to a population of over 450 million people in 17 countries across Africa.
The Chief Marketing Officer for Bharti Airtel Africa, Andre Beyers says indeed their goal is to bring affordable and easily accessible health services to over 450 million people.
“The battle against counterfeit drugs is a huge step towards this goal,” said Beyers.
He said whilst this agreement is a step in the right direction, he also believes that collaboration between all the stakeholders in the mobile health ecosystem is key to a successful and sustainable future.
The Sproxil’s service works by placing a scratch-off label on products, and then when consumers purchase a product, they scratch off the label to reveal a unique, random code. The code is then sent via SMS to a country-specific Toll Free short code, and the consumer receives a reply almost instantly indicating whether the product is genuine or not.
Airtel is providing services in 17 countries across Africa, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
New sustainable housing from Innovation HubBotswana Innovation Hub has unveiled a prototype Sustainable Housing unit that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of people through its rapid deployment, solar renewable lighting, rain water catchment and use of local materials as value additions. Read More
Microsoft drives local innovation in North AfricaAt this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Morocco, Microsoft has signed a new strategic alliance with Tunisian startup Saphon Energy and introduced the first round of 50 women entrepreneurs to go through its Cloud Startup Academy. Read More
Philips introduces innovations in “Maisha ni Mwelekeo” roadshowPhilips is showcasing new solar powered home lighting systems and a unique fan driven cook stove (Jiko) for rural and semi-rural areas during a roadshow in Kenya. Read More
Gabon Cybercity wins foreign investorsCybercity, a multi-billion ICT project located in the Mandji Island near the oil-rich city of Port-Gentil in Gabon, is reported to be becoming one of Central Africa’s top targets for foreign investors. Read More
AfricaCom Awards 2014 winners announcedThe winners of the digital industry’s most anticipated Awards were announced at AfricaCom in South Africa last night. Read More
GHS60, 000 seed fund for Ghanaian digital entrepreneursTigo Digital Change-makers has begun the search for social entrepreneurs with digital solutions to improve the lives of children and society. Read More
MTN prepares to use its world-class network and technology to break the land speed recordMTN has once again commenced a series of test runs of its state of the art network built to support a land speed record attempt by the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (BSC). Read More
AIF announces 30-day extension for the US$ 150 000 IPA 2015 awardAIF has announced 30-day extension for the US$ 150 000 IPA 2015 award for African innovators. Read More
BIH gets IASP full membershipThe annual International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) General Assembly has bestowed full membership status on Botswana Innovation Hub. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSVMware Study: Businesses can Take Three Weeks to get Employees Mobile-Ready
EMEA businesses say concerns over trust, ownership and delivery capability may hold back taking advantage of the mobile cloud-era.