Lilongwe — United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and TNM have partnered to create Internet of Good Things (IoGT), a social media platform that will see TNM users freely access information on diverse issues affecting their lives.
This partnership builds on another where UNICEF, TNM and Airtel came together earlier this year (2018) to drive the U-Report, an opinion-polling system for young people to give their views and opinions on different issues.
Speaking during the launch of the new initiative Tuesday in Lilongwe, UNICEF Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships, Andrew Brown said IoGT was about providing free information to the youth on a variety of topics.
He said every TNM user with a Smartphone would be able to access IoGT for free from their TNM.org application and be able to read information on various fields that affect their lives.
"It is a powerful new tool that will work together with U-Report to deliver information to the young people," he said.
Unlike the U-Report, the IoGT initiative will provide access for rich and quality information on a variety of topics including maternal health, HIV and sexual health advice, education, hygiene and emergency information on different diseases.
"What we are able to do with IoGT is to ask people for their views and experience with, say, cholera and then get and give detailed information on prevention of the disease," explained the UNICEF official.
TNM's Head of Marketing, Sobhuza Ngwenya said his company's new partnership with UNICEF was a milestone in providing free access to IoGT that UNICEF would come up with.
"That access, for us, is very important. We would want to continue partnering with UNICEF in Malawi in relation to helping young people to access information.
"We believe the connectivity that we will be providing to this platform is important to the young people to be able to access information," he said.
He added that through the IoGT initiative, TNM would give a tablet each to three schools in Dedza and Salima as a pilot project.
He said after piloting the initiative at the three schools, it will then be rolled out to other areas in the country.
Among other topics and issues covered on Internet of Good Things include maternal health, hygiene, emergency information on diseases such as Ebola, polio and cholera, HIV and sexual health advice for adolescents, internet safety, positive parenting and techniques.
The IoGT launch attracted stakeholders such as TNM, Airtel, UNICEF, National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM), U-Report ambassador musician, Sangie and Ghetto Ghata Entertainment (GGE) among others.
Globally, IoGT presents in 60 countries with traceable market of more than 1 billion users. The platform has been deployed in 13 languages, according to UNICEF.