When most people watch the above video about Mobile Stats in Africa 2011 many think of opportunities to only milk that huge audience. The Praekelt Foundation are different. They build open source, scalable mobile technologies and solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in poverty.
Launched at Tech4Africa 2011, Ummeli is a new mobile platform that helps communities create their own employment opportunities. Traditional tools built for job-seekers assume a plentiful supply of employment opportunities. Taking a realistic view of employment prospects, Ummeli focusses on creating opportunities. Unlike most services that attempt to assist young people looking for jobs, Ummeli is built to take advantage of the one medium that is accessible and already in use by our audience: mobile phones. Inspired by the principles of Ubuntu – “I am what I am because of who we all are” – Ummeli is a collaborative tool that allows communities to share and set goals and to initiate their own projects. For impoverished communities, services need to be free or as close to free as possible. Currently hosted on Vodafone Live in South Africa, Ummeli is entirely free to access.
Some of the aims of Ummeli are:
- To assist young people in preparing for employment applications.
- To help Africa’s youth find meaningful employment.
- To provide the tools for communities to set goals, and self-organise projects.
- To disrupt the Western, individualistic job-culture which does not suit Africa
- To foster the community-benefiting spirit of Ubuntu.
You’ll notice the above paragraphs have been copy/pasted from the Ummeli site, I only added links to blog posts previously written here. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or you know the way Web AddiCT(s); think I have an idea or 2 hidden in plain sight here that could add value to the Ummeli project. Stay tuned while we get this off the ground…