Managing Director of the Sonatel Group
For the Sonatel Group and its strategic partner Orange Corporate, Social Responsibility is a condition of success, a mark of loyalty to our values and an advantage for our company which is committed to a dynamic of continuous improvement. CSR has become a process integrated into our everyday activities which also creates great expectations to our stakeholders.
It was to enhance our everyday commitment and following the success experienced by the ‘Data For Development Challenge’ (D4D) in the Ivory Coast in 2013, that the General Management of Sonatel under the impetus of the Orange Group decided to launch the "Senegal D4D Challenge". This is a Big Data and innovation competition open to the research world in order to aid the development.
This Orange group and Sonatel project will make the anonymised data of the mobile network available to researchers. This data on its own, but also with cross-referencing with other data from outside Orange-Sonatel, constitutes a rich source of new teaching that will contribute to the improvement of public policies and aid the development.
In the case of Senegal, right from the start of this project, we wished to involve the key institutions and the local ecosystem likely to benefit from the research work and the implementation of the solutions. In order to focus efforts, but without wishing to turn it into a restriction of exclusivity, the following sectors were chosen as priority themes of the Challenge:
- Transport /Urban planning
- National statistics
A D4D committee has been set up. It is responsible for coordinating the Challenge and selecting the best research work produced by the competition. It is composed of eminent members of institutions that are active in the area of BigData and development with the University of Louvain, the MIT (Boston), the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, the Gaston Berger University in St Louis, the United Nations Global Pulse, the GSMA, The World Economic Forum, PARIS 21, Orange-Sonatel, and Orange Labs.
We would like to thank very sincerely in advance the community of researchers that will be getting involved in this adventure, the project partners and the Senegal Ministers who have agreed to take part by submitting their questions, as well as all those who from near or afar will contribute to making ‘D4D Senegal’ a success.
We wish everyone a Great Challenge and we will meet again next year at the NetMob conference to discover the projects that we hope will be a starting point for aiding the development of Senegal and helping our fellow citizens to live a better life.