Zambia: Airtel, Sproxil's Seal Deal
Bharti Airtel, the owners of Airtel Zambia, has signed an agreement with Sproxil to combat the counterfeit drug market in Africa.
Sproxil's Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution allows consumers to verify product genuineness within seconds through a text message.
Airtel Zambia will offer this service absolutely free to its users and not charge for any SMS-based verification.
Bharti Airtel Africa chief marketing officer Andre Beyers said the goal of the company was 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. Whilst this agreement is a step in the right direction, I also believe that collaboration between all the stakeholders in the mobile health ecosystem is key to a successful and sustainable future," Beyers said.
In a statement issued in Lusaka last week, Sproxil chief executive officer Ashifi Gogo said: "Building relationships with individual telecom companies and acquiring the short codes necessary for our MPA solution in each country can take a considerable amount of time - its lows 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."
Dr Gogo said 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'sbrand protection solution, at no cost to them."
Airtel is a leader in mobile communications, providing services in 17 countries across Africa, which include Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The partnership is designed to facilitate the deployment of Sproxil's MPA solution throughout developing regions of Africa's markets where Airtel is entrenched as a leading telecommunications provider.
Sproxil is a venture-backed, social enterprise that provides world-class brand protection services in emerging markets.