"One Saturday evening, about 10 years ago, I was in a 'fada.' There were real topics for discussion! That night, we were discussing how Niger could catch up with its lagging development. Innovations in the field of digitalization could make a major contribution to this and enable us to leapfrog stages.
This discussion was the main trigger for things at my level. To help get things moving, I set up my own company, the Digital Development Agency. 11 years later, we’ve worked on nearly 200 digital transformation projects for our customers, thanks to the talents of a team of over 30 passionate young people”. – Wahiddi Rabilou, ADN General Manager.
ADN contributed 36.32% of the total project cost, with PROMEL and the Promotion de l'Employabilité et de l'Insertion Économique des Jeunes (PEMIJ) project contributing 34.85% and 28.83%, respectively. This collaboration birthed an innovative digital solution focused on facilitating online purchase and sale of agricultural products, networking among value chain players, and providing access to crucial agricultural information.
To create this solution, ADN conducted study trips to Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, and Senegal, gaining insights into similar platforms and gathering feedback. The platform, operationalised in Niger, was officially launched on June 14, 2023, in the presence of technical and financial partners.
The platform, offering three main services, stands as a testament to Niger's digital leap:
Agrishop, an online marketplace for agricultural products and services, facilitates networking and information sharing. With 199 online stores, including 55 run by women, and over 300 recorded sales, Agrishop has become a thriving hub. The platform's weekly updated agricultural advice tab has been consulted more than 11,130 times, demonstrating its impact on users.
Thanks to the delivery services in place, any user can order products on the platform, choose their payment method (money transfer via Airtel Niger or payment on delivery) and have them delivered anywhere in the city of Niamey.
Testimonials from users like Hamza Oumarou, an Agrishop supplier, and Harouna Capouchichi Rosie, an Agrishop customer, highlight the positive impact on online commerce and everyday life.
I sell tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables at the Dar Es Salam market. I hear about the new Agrishop platform, and they helped me set up a virtual store. My products and their prices are visible online. Now, every day, their delivery drivers come to buy my products for customers I don’t even know. In any wase, it’s making me money! Agrishop is very demanding on quality and thank God my products are of good quality. Entrepreneurs are now innovating in Niger, and that’s great for us.
I discovered Agrishop through WhatsApp. I’m a member of a WhatsApp group on which an advert from the platform was shared. Then I found the same ad on a friend’s WhatsApp status. Curious, I wanted to find out more from this friend, who gave me Agrishop’s number. I tried it out, ordering rice from Niger, which I couldn’t find on the market, and fish. A few moments later, my children informed me that my order had arrived. I was very surprised, as I live a long way from the city. I really liked the professionalism of this platform.
Agricall is an agricultural advisory service available in Hausa, Zarma and French. It enables users to access a call center via a short number (424) to obtain agronomic advice provided by the Réseau National des Chambres d'Agriculture du Niger (RECA). In addition to its expertise in agronomy, RECA provides a room, training and supervision for call center agents. ADN, for its part, thanks to a partnership agreement with Swisscontact, has fitted out the room with computer equipment, Internet access and human resources.
To date, the call center has handled 937 calls, with 33.19% from women and 40.23% from people under 35.
Rayuwa is a USSD application designed to operate in areas where the internet connection is weak or non-existent. It enables users to subscribe to messaging services on weather, agricultural product prices, farming advice, phytosanitary plant treatment methods and more. Rayuwa's development is ongoing, and the platform is exploring subscription- and advertising-based business models to generate additional revenue.
ADN's financial viability strategy, supported by PROMEL, includes studies to define a suitable business model and marketing strategy. In addition to subscription revenues, the platform will generate income through paid advertising, ensuring its long-term growth potential.
ADN's innovative projects underscore the agency's position at the forefront of Niger's digital transformation, heralding a brighter future for the nation. This initiative showcases the transformative power of inspired conversations, driving innovation that uplifts lives and stimulates economic development.