Microsoft has partnered Glasgow-based tech company Cojengo to develop software seeking to provide East African farmers with innovative diagnostic tools and disease surveillance data.
The VetAfrica app aims to help farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania by enabling vets, animal health workers and rural farmers to quickly and accurately diagnose livestock illness and identify which drugs are most effective to treat disease.
Speaking during the launch of the app, deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said the solution will help tens of millions of farmers across Africa to solve animal health issues.
“Scotland has a global reputation as an innovative nation and Cojengo has expanded its horizons internationally to help transform the lives of rural farmers on the African continent,” she said.
“Working with Microsoft, the company has embraced and tapped into the mobile revolution sweeping Africa. Cojengo is a shining example of a new generation of creative Scottish companies with the ambition and skills to create and grow successful businesses.”
Craig Taylor, managing director of Cojengo, said: “The amount of support we’ve received really helped us develop and market the VetAfrica solution, allowing us to get the app into the hands of those who need it most very quickly.
“Working in partnership with Microsoft and the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative we feel we can make a huge impact across Africa and genuinely change lives for the better.”
Derrick McCourt, general manager for public sector at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft in Scotland is committed to fostering innovation and talent. Our Bizspark programme nurtures and accelerates over 100 start-up businesses in Scotland.
“We have been very impressed by Cojengo who built the VetAfrica solution, with our support through the global Microsoft 4Africa initiative. We are proud to help take Scottish innovation to the global stage with smart use of technology that will improve economic growth and support the livelihoods of rural African communities.”
East Africa has over 100 million farmers spread across thousands of square miles, a number Cojengo predicts will influence massive growth of mobile and cloud tech solutions in its African markets.
Cojengo has received support and advice from Business Gateway Glasgow, Scottish Enterprise, University of Strathclyde’s Entrepreneurial Network and the Gabriel Investment Syndicate.