#National News

UNICEF, Africell ink MoU on U-Report

Sep 27, 2021, 12:32 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Africell GSM Company on the U-Report initiative.

U-Report platforms provide the opportunity for young adults to lend their voices, opinions, and views to nation building, development and to create awareness of multiple challenges to the protection of children in the country.

Speaking at the ceremony held at UN House in Cape Point, Gordon Jonathan Lewis, UNICEF representative to The Gambia explained that Africell Gambia has joined other telecommunication companies in West African to support the U-Report as part of their  corporate social responsibility efforts. 

“U-Report is a social messaging tool and a data collection system developed by UNICEF to improve citizens’ engagement to inform leaders to foster positive change. U-Report Gambia has mobilized 12, 775 U-Reporters on the platform, which is a very important thing to the country. The impact of U-Report is evidence and we cannot question it. It is instrumental in expanding the rate of distance learning during the Covid-19 lockdown in the country,” he added.

Mr. Lewis stated that U-Report is being used to inform the 2020-2021 summit of the African Union and the European Union through the campaign ‘Your Voice, Your Future’. He thanked Africell for the generous offer towards supporting the U-Report platform with free SMS services. 

He concluded by welcoming Africell’s commitment to supporting UNICEF to achieve the sustainable development goals for children in the country.  

Hussien Diab Ghanem, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africell Gambia explained that children are the future and should be taught on how to lead the way. 

“Something like this not only tight perfectly well into Africell’s corporate social responsibility but it is also incorporated into our goal of making a difference in communities we serve. There is no better way to make a difference than through the youth. If you want to do something that will outlast yourself, there is no better thing to do than to tap into the youth,” he stated.

He expressed delighted with being part of something that bridges the gap between policymakers and the next generation.

Ebrima Touray, a U-Report ambassador explained that he received an alert with his Africell line which was a U-report on education.

“I immediately contacted my friends to confirm if they received the same alert. After confirming, I encourage them to respond and we went further to follow the post on social media and see if our opinions will be heard or not,” he added.