The new zero rated web platform Internet of Good Things (IoGT), will be free for all Econet mobile users in Zimbabwe, providing updated and localized content on Covid 19 and health related content.
UNICEF, in partnership with Econet Wireless and ZiFM Stereo is launching The Internet of Good Things (IoGT) through a virtual live music show featuring top local performing artists.
The IoGT features mobile-packaged content from UNICEF and partners designed to make life-saving and life-improving information available for free, even on low-end devices and basic web-enabled mobile phones.
The event scheduled for tomorrow (5th June) features local artists Jah Prayzah, Gemma Griffiths, Tamy Moyo, Long John, Nutty O and Asaph.
In a statement UNICEF said it partnered local mobile provider Econet for its huge market share in the mobile industry to provide tailor made information to the public on the rapidly escalating global pandemic.
Econet has around 13 million mobile subscribers in Zimbabwe.
The website will be accessible to all Econet subscribers with mobile devices and basic web enabled phones delivering essential information and lifesaving recommendations about diseases such as COVID-19 and Cholera.
“While Zimbabwe has high mobile penetration, access to data is a challenge for many. The impacts on all people, particularly women and children across Zimbabwe from the rapidly escalating global COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented and far reaching, and access to factual information is vital.
“The IoGT is delivering essential information and lifesaving recommendations about diseases such as COVID-19 and Cholera, maternal health, hygiene, HIV and sexual health for adolescents, child online protection, positive parenting, education resources and more.
“Providing quality education, messages and information will help children grow and develop to their full potential. It will also help mothers, fathers, other family members, frontline workers, caregivers, service providers and communities stay safe and protect the lives of children across the country,” said UNICEF in a statement.
UNICEF said already the website has attracted at least 50000 local users because of its localized appeal adding that the website will soon carry messages to be translated into vernacular local languages.
The site will also have special features like section that provides free career advice, which has been a popular hit of this innovative intervention.
“In Zimbabwe, updated content distributed on IoGT is localized and is evolving to include content in the main languages – English, Shona and Ndebele. To date, almost 50,000 users have accessed the website and this is expected to grow.
“Some of the popular sections include COVID-19 information and advice for students about the disease, as well as career advice content, and the “All In” section – a special section for adolescents,” said UNICEF.