The fight against the ebola virus has seen an unprecedented amount of companies, organisations and individuals pull together to work on a solution in slowing down its path of destruction through West Africa.

Startups have also joined the fight, and HaltEbola, as part of the AMPION West African Venture Bus challenge, was recently crowned the first winning startup of the African Venture Buses for 2014.

The winning mobile application aims to educate and connect people in rural areas through the voicemail in their local languages, so that they can learn about ebola and share information with others.

As winners of the African Venture Buses 2014, HaltEbola will be receiving training and mentoring from challenge sponsor Microsoft, as well as free software to expand on the application.

“We were not contented with expecting others to lead the path in solving African challenges; we were determined to take the lead so that others can support. To this end, we modelled HaltEbola, a digital platform that uses mobile to connect rural communities to information, practices and expertise that would be helpful in the current Ebola crisis,” the team said in a media statement.

The AMPION West African Venture Bus challenge has put them on a springboard to launch the application to a bigger audience, with translations being the biggest stumbling block.

“With the outlook of extensive support through AMPIONs network, we hope to be able to launch the prototype in a few weeks. Recording translations for many West African languages will take some time, but we have started right away!”

HaltEbola was the winner of the West African Venture Bus challenge, but the Southern Venture Bus is due to start in Harare (Zimbabwe), from where it will move to Gaborone (Botswana) and Windhoek (Namibia) before culminating in Cape Town in time for the annual AfricaCom conference.

[Image – CC by 2.0/European Commission DG]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.