Morocco: On course for the digital age with intelligent tracking systems

After 15 years in Germany, IT engineer Salim Benaissa felt the pull of home and returned to Morocco. Back in his home city of Rabat, Benaissa took the plunge and launched a start-up with Aziz Ahnyne, whom he met while at university in Germany. Their company, Genius Contract, develops GPS tracking systems for logistics companies.

Salim Benaissa (right) and his business partner Aziz Ahnyne

'I think there is still a lot of untapped business potential in Africa - in contrast to Europe. We have a lot of catching up to do, especially on digitalisation and cross-border solutions. That's exactly where our company comes in.'

In the right place at the right time

The African Union recently finalised a free trade agreement based on the European example. It aims to stimulate intra-African trade, increase employment and finally give the continent a greater share in value creation from its natural resources. GPS tracking systems for logistics companies - which Salim Benaissa and his business partner began developing three years ago and have been fine-tuning ever since - are therefore precisely the right product, in the right place at the right time. This is reflected in the company's success. From initially supplying just the Moroccan market, it has now won its first customers in Mali, Mauritania and even Italy.

The business idea

Using Genius Contract's GPS tracking systems, logistics companies can monitor their fleets in real time and thus improve their management. The trucks on African roads are generally worth several hundred thousand euros. The value of the goods they carry is often just as high. The Malian logistics enterprise Petro Bama, one of Benaissa's satisfied customers, has this to say of the product: 'Genius Contract Morocco's new tracking system helps me manage my fleet more efficiently - and helps me sleep better at night. Especially when my trucks have to travel through risky areas, like Mali at the moment.' Hicham Elalaoui, logistics director at Moroccan company Sofadex, highlights the financial benefits of the product: 'We're saving several thousand euros per month with the new system. We no longer have to pay high roaming costs on transit journeys across different countries. Also, by managing routes more intelligently we can significantly reduce fuel consumption in our fleet. What's more, the sensors installed in the fuel tanks as part of the tracking system have already alerted us to more than one fuel thief. And when the temperature gets too high for a cargo of perishable goods, the system also sends out a warning.'

This unobtrusive appliance goes by the name of Genius Tracker and houses the intelligent GPS tracking system developed by Salim Benaissa and his business partner Aziz Ahnyne. © GIZ/Alice Dufour

For operators, tracking freight in real time means greater control, better security and lower costs. © Shutterstock.com

Das Geniale an Genius-Tracker: Sämtliche Daten werden ohne Roaming-Gebühren übertragen. Das gilt momentan für 52 Länder, Tendenz steigend. Hier eine von Genius-Tracker dargestellte LKW-Tour von Bamako in Mali nach Dakar in Senegal.

The true genius of Genius Tracker: data transfer is entirely free of roaming charges. At present, this applies to 52 countries, with more to come. Here, Genius Tracker displays a truck route from Bamako in Mali to Dakar in Senegal.

Genius Clean City

The company's new product, Genius Clean City

Huge growth potential

Genius Contract is now putting out feelers not only in other countries, but also in other sectors. Its latest customer in Morocco is the City of Rabat. By adapting his original product, Benaissa has come up with an intelligent GPS waste management system for the city. Genius Clean City recently began monitoring the status of 13,000 waste bins in four city districts and the work of 15 waste collection trucks equipped with its trackers. Now that full bins are being emptied promptly, the city is visibly cleaner, smells better and presents fewer health risks for its citizens. The new product will shortly be launched in an initial municipality in the Agadir area, too.

Hier stellt das Trackingsystem die abgefahrene Strecke eines Müllfahrzeugs in Rabat dar. Die grünen Punkte zeigen, welche Mülltonnen geleert wurden.

Here, the tracking system displays the route of a waste collection truck in Rabat. The green dots show which bins have been emptied.

The company: Genius Contract Morocco

  • Founded in 2016
  • Registered in Rabat
  • Three employees (September 2019)
  • Supported by the Business Ideas for Development scheme run by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM)

Support from Business Ideas for Development

Salim Benaissa and his partner produced their first prototype with the financial support he received in 2016 from Business Ideas for Development. As he recalls: 'The money was actually not the most important thing for us. Much more valuable were the ongoing advice, the feedback we received on developing our idea and the many useful contacts we were given. That opened a lot of doors for us.'

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