The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in collaboration with Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), a leading technology innovation center in Africa, has launched a call for innovative communication projects on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; focused on countering disbelief and misinformation among rural populations in Africa using indigenous languages.
In a statement signed by Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye, head of policy, health diplomacy, and communication at the Africa CDC, the CDC noted that the partnership will focus on projects delivering vetted critical information to Africans in remote areas using innovative and culturally sensitive messaging aimed at educating the public and ensuring fact-based information reaches even remote locations across Africa through such approaches like comics, animation, illustrations, infographics, interactive SMS, and Mobile apps.
Dr. Djoudalbaye said the collaboration will enhance efforts of the CDC in educating the public and ensuring that the right information reaches even remotest locations on the continent so as to avoid unnecessary panic and misinformation. “The selected teams will be supported with grant funding of up to $5,000 for research and design support. Proposed projects can be focused on one African country or multiple countries across the continent,” says the statement.
“With a track record of collaborating with key players to explore the application of technology to solve Africa’s systemic problems in Public Health, Education, and Governance in the continent, CcHUB through its internal research and development unit at CcHUB Design Lab, based in Kigali, Rwanda, will collaborate with innovators to provide technical support using innovative digital and non-digital methodologies to ensure the mass messaging on Coronavirus reaches the semi-urban and rural population across Africa,” adds the statement.
The collaboration is supported by the Joint African Union – German Cooperation on Citizens Engagement and Innovative Data Use for Africa’s Development programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
“This is a critical time where technology in Africa should be used in smart ways to ensure broader citizen awareness and understanding of COVID-19 response strategies and precautions,” said Bosun Tijani, CcHUB’s Co-founder and CEO.
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