The Second Data for Development Challenge in Africa

May 27, 2014 (Tue): After the success of the last challenge in 2013, using the technical data of the mobile network of Orange in Ivory Coast, the next Data for Development (D4D) Challenge will use data sets from Senegal. It will reward the best research projects aimed at promoting development and improving the well-being of people in Senegal.

The main goal of the challenge, which is aligned with Sonatel and Orange’s development policy, is to contribute to the development and well-being of the local population. Five priority areas have been defined, and needs in each area have been expressed with the help of the relevant Ministries and partner institutions. The five priorities are healthcare, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, energy and producing national statistics.

The challenge also aims to contribute towards achieving a more technical goal by rewarding the best work on improving algorithms for anonymisation, data mining, and data visualisation and cross-matching.

The organisers want to get local and regional theoretical and applied researchers involved in order to guarantee results in terms of education and economic development, particularly for the business ecosystem and local start-ups.

Teams can enter the competition until the of end of December 2014, and in April 2015 a jury of representatives from 13 partner institutions will vote on the best projects. Ten prizes will be awarded in two categories:

  • development and improvements to the well-being of the Senegalese people
  • methods for promoting scientific or creative work

The competitors will be supplied with a set of technical data from Orange Senegal’s mobile network, and a set of “synthetic data” based on a very detailed model of the network which simulates the activity of fictional customers whose behaviour is statistically similar to that of the real population. For more information on the challenge, go to:

The challenge illustrates Orange’s open innovation strategy and its corporate social responsibility policy, which focuses on using digital technology to promote development and progress for everyone, individuals, regions and communities alike.

Author: Terry KS

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