VENTURES AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Mobile Accord, a US-based mobile telecommunications platform company, are collaborating in a strategic project which will bring about the processing of mobile-based surveys throughout Africa.
Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist of the AfDB, said the partnership comes in the wake of discussions at the Bank on the need for better engagement of technology to support the Bank’s initiatives around the continent, which includes the “Youth Employment” and “Transforming Africa” projects.
“Through this partnership with Mobile Accord, we shall feel the real pulse of the youth and the development impact of AfDB because, we would gather more accurate information in real time”, Ncube said.
Mobile Accord’s service, GeoPoll, the polling platform that uses text messaging to collect substantial data from mobile subscribers, is the engine of this AfDB-Mobile Accord partnership. A GeoPoll survey was recently used to ask Tunisian youth for their views on employment, entrepreneurship, and on the country’s progress since the Arab Spring; 62 percent of Tunisian youth said they would like to become entrepreneurs.
Ncube revealed that it was the intension of AfDB to continue polling across the African continent as for the first time the concerns, hopes and aspirations of African youth would be heard on such a large scale.
According to Mobile Accord’s Founder and Chairman, James Eberhard, who pioneered GeoPoll, the platform “is changing the way information is collected, reducing the time it takes to gather information from months to a single day – and at a fraction of the traditional cost.”
Eberhard also expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating that GeoPoll “would enable the voices of Africa to be shared with the world.”
Mobile Accord is a mobile telecommunications platform services company founded in 2005. It has operations on four continents, providing enterprise level solutions focused on driving positive social change through the mobile phone.
The company’s products and services empower 500+ international aid organisations, non-governmental organisations, non-profits, universities, charities, and governmental entities to change the world through mobile technology.
Its achievements include donation for watershed mobile phone campaigns in the United States, raising over $50 million for charitable organisations through its mGive platform, as well as mobile social networks connecting millions in developing countries.
AfDB was established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa. The bank provides loans and grants to African regional membercountries (RMC) and private companies investing in RMC’s.