CEO of Africell The Gambia, Hussein Diab Ghanem, signing a collaboration agreement with UNICEF representative to The Gambia Gordon Jonathan Lewis

Africell and UNICEF are collaborating to support youth engagement The Gambia. The partnership will see Africell provide free SMS services to UNICEF’s U-Report platform, a social messaging tool designed to boost the participation of young people in the West African nation in the social issues that matter most to them. 

As The Gambia’s biggest telecoms operator, Africell is uniquely able to help U-Report gain traction with the country’s youth in both urban and rural communities. By pairing Africell’s resources as a pan-Gambian mobile company with the innovative concept of the U-Report, young people in The Gambia will have greater opportunity to express themselves and contribute to positive change.

“Young people are the majority of Gambia’s population and their voices are fundamental in shaping policies and development programs,” said Gordon Jonathan Lewis of UNICEF The Gambia. “The partnership between Africell and UNICEF is the first step in a long-term relationship and demonstrates the value that socially-conscious businesses can add to initiatives like the U-Report”.

U-Report is a social messaging tool that allows users to respond to SMS polls and participate in discussions about issues relevant to youth. Results from polls are automatically generated and shared with relevant partners to inform decision-making. The platform was launched in The Gambia in March 2019 and has since registered more than 12,700 members, who are known as U-Reporters. U-Report is currently used in 68 other countries and is fuelled by more than 11 million active U-Reporters worldwide.

Representatives of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Youth Council, and the local U-Reporter community attended the signing of the agreement which took place at UNICEF’s offices in Cape Point, Gambia, on 23 September 2021.

Announcing the venture, CEO of Africell The Gambia Hussein Diab Ghanem said: “Africell is proud to help bridge the gap between policymakers and the next generation of Gambian leaders. As a mobile technology company, our interests and aspirations align closely with those of young people. Africell’s mission in the The Gambia is to use our technology services to accelerate economic and social development. Empowering youth is a key part of this campaign, and that is why we are delighted to provide free SMS services and other support to the U-Report”.

UNICEF is the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children. It is among the leading global social welfare organisations in the world and is active in over 190 countries and territories.   

To learn more about UNICEF's U-Report platform, click here.