South Africa: Gov’t turns to Mxit to reach youngsters

Digital Content

Government has launched a youth app on Mxit meant to empower young people to interact with government on its upcoming national youth policy.

Deputy minister in the presidency Buti Manamela has launched a Mxit application called Isago to promote government’s national youth policy, which is currently in development. The app allows youngsters to give their views on the future of the country. Isago means “my future” in Setswana.

Mxit advisory board member Eldrid Jordaan says the app was launched this past week. “In the first 48 hours, 400 000 young South Africans downloaded it purely to engage with the presidency around challenges of economic participation, skills development and education.”

The presidency is this week hosting the national youth policy consultative conference.

“Of the 35m people who have access to phones, 22m people in South Africa use feature phones. Mxit is available on feature phones and smartphones,” Jordaan says.

The app allows the presidency to engage with young people on a continuous basis, beyond the lifespan of the development of the youth policy, he adds. “One common thread among the comments is that the presidency needs to tackle job creation, provide better quality education and improve skills development programmes.”

Manamela launched the national youth policy development process in January this year and called on all youth organisations to participate. Since then he has made extensive use of social media platforms to engage with the youth.

YouTube, Flickr and Instagram were used to reach the youth. On Monday, Manamela hosted a Google Hangout with news channel eNCA.

Source: Techcentral 31 March 2015