Wednesday, June 19, 2024

CDF information and learning platform

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The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in partnership with Alliance for Accountability Advocacy Zambia – AAAZ and Viamo have launched a mobile phone platform for citizens to easily access information on Constituency Development Fund – CDF.

The CDF information and learning platform has been developed by Alliance for Accountability Advocates Zambia -AAAZ- and Viamo, and the platform will be accessed by dialing a code that will bring information in various local languages.

Alliance for Accountability Advocacy Zambia – AAAZ Executive Director Luchembe Chilufya stated that the platform is meant to spread information on the different CDF programmes.

Mr Luchembe added that the platform will enable people, especially the youths, to be able to easily access information about CDF, as this will also help in contributing to the development of this country.

“I want to thank Viamo for giving us an opportunity to work with them, I think we are one of the risk-taking institutions to working with Viamo who have shown confidence in AAAZ by believing in us and giving us an opportunity to work with Viamo on this project, which will create more opportunities to showcase to the world and this country on how best young people’s innovations can be appreciated and put into good use,” Mr Luchembe said

And Viamo Project Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa Jessica Mayenda stated that the project has been created to ensure that people especially in the remotest parts of the country get information on CDF.

The partnership with AAAZ in aiding the government efforts in spreading knowledge and increasing access to the CDF fund through the Viamo platform.

“The platform is currently only available on the 667 as the short code on MTN and will soon be available on other mobile service providers, the 667 short code is a toll-free innovative communication service that is an interactive voice that can be called to get information on various topics on CDF that one can choose from, the service is toll-free and can be accessed even without having any airtime, this is to ensure that we reach everybody and no one is left behind” Ms Mayenda explained

“The 667 short code is already working, we have content on the platform about CDF looking at the whole procedure and processes starting from knowing exactly what CDF is and how to acquire the CDF,” Ms Mayenda added

She mentioned that this project came into effect after conducting a survey on what people know about CDF and after discovering that people have little or no knowledge on CDF even those in the urban areas with access to smart phones and internet, thus the creation of this platform which enables easy access on information on CDF for all people including those in the rural areas.

“We will continue working with AAAZ to conduct sensitization programmes on how best people can use this platform to have easy access on information about CDF,” Ms Mayenda said

Meanwhile, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Gary Nkombo stated that the platform will help to increase absorption of CDF projects which have had some challenges.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry’s Director Planning and Information Ngoza Munthali, it was explained that the Ministry has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the prudent and inclusive administration of the expanded Constituency Development Fund – CDF, it is therefore gratifying to be part of this novel approach that AAAZ and Partners have developed to enhance availability of information on CDF which is aimed at assisting community members to have increased access to information on CDF including the process of completing applications and developing business plans.

“The Ministry acknowledges the challenges in the absorption rate on CDF and existing knowledge gaps, we are therefore glad to note that organization such as the AAAZ and other partners are contributing to addressing these challenges by providing platforms that are inclusive and innovative to capacitate community members in understanding how they can access CDF and also participate in planning and monitoring its utilization,” Mr Nkombo explained

The Minister noted that this is complementary to many other initiatives that the State and other non-state actors are undertaking, and the government is happy to collaborate with other stakeholders on such initiatives, as the government recognizes that they cannot achieve this on their own.

Mr Nkombo has since appealed to other mobile service providers to come on board and include the CDF information platform on their services.

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