MXit encourages youngsters to vote

The Institute for Democracy in Africa and the Open Democracy Advice Centre have launched an initiative with cellphone instant messaging service MXit to encourage young South Africans to vote.

The initiative, called smrtCitizen, has been designed to help young SA adults understand why they should vote, what their rights are, and what they can do to change and shape their future.

SmrtCitizen is part of a larger educational initiative on MXit called Bsmrt, which has more than 150 000 users across SA and the rest of Africa.

“SmrtCitizen talks to our youth in a language that they understand,” says Katherine van Wyk, programme director at Ever1Mobile, the company responsible for developing the platform. “Our research shows that young people are willing and able to contribute to a better future.”

The mobile platform addresses a lack of age-relevant information that is available to youth by answering questions such as “What makes me a citizen?” and “Where do my rights come from?”.

Other sections allow users to report incidences of injustice and to join campaigns and community action or debate groups. There is a section on current news issues, including xenophobia and government’s interest in passing the Secrecy Bill.

A critical element to smrtCitizen is encouraging a balance between young adults knowing their rights and taking responsibility for them. A competition was launched to reward youth with MXit Moola, the platform’s virtual currency, for taking steps to improve their community or region.

Van Wyk says MXit is more accessible to young South Africans than newspapers, television and radio. “It’s the only medium that could allow us to have a two-way conversation with young adults,” says Van Wyk.  — Staff reporter, TechCentral

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share this article

Why TechCentral?

We know that as a prospective advertiser, you are spoilt for choice. Our job is to demonstrate why TechCentral delivers the best return for your advertising spend.

TechCentral is South Africa’s online technology news leader. We don’t say that lightly. We believe we produce the country’s best and most insightful online tech news aimed at industry professionals and those interested in the fast-changing world of technology.

We provide news, reviews and comment, without fear or favour, that is of direct relevance to our fast-expanding audience. Proportionately, we provide the largest local audience of all technology-focused online publishers.

We do not constantly regurgitate press releases to draw in search engine traffic — we believe websites that do so are doing their readers and advertisers a disservice. Nor do we sell “editorial features”, offer advertising “press offices” or rely on online bulletin-board forums of questionable value to advertisers to bolster our traffic.

TechCentral, which is edited and written by award-winning South African journalists, cares about delivering top-quality content to draw in the business and consumer readers that are of most interest to technology advertisers.

We’d like the opportunity to demonstrate the value of directing a portion of your advertising budget to TechCentral, whether your company is in the technology field or not. Numerous opportunities exist for companies interested in reaching our audience of key decision-makers in South Africa’s dynamic information and communications technology sector. We offer packages that will deliver among the best returns on investment available in the online technology news space.

For more information about advertising opportunities, and how your organisation can benefit by publicising itself on TechCentral, please call us on 011-792-0449 during office hours. Or send us an e-mail and ask for our latest rate card and brochure.