Safaricom subscribers to benefit from refugee app
Safaricom and Ericsson are launching a phone app that allows refugees who have been separated from their families to search for and find their relatives in Kenya.
The mobile tool, which has already in use in other African countries, allows access to the Refugees United mobile site (http://m.refunite.org). Refugees can register themselves in either English, Kiswahili, Somali or Arabic and search for loved ones.
The anonymous database of registered users is maintained by Refugees United and can then be accessed by individuals as well as NGOs and international organisations caring for displaced people to search for matches.
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“The recent pilot of the mobile services in Uganda, involving Ericsson, pan-African operator Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has now developed into a multi-country agreement to deploy the service across Africa,” Ericsson said in a statement.
Ericsson MD Craig Hosken said the application has proved to be reliable.
"It is really about using the existing mobile telephony and this application is to be used to re-unite displaced people and refugees. That will enable people to re-connect with each other and to get in touch with their loved ones and missing family. We are expanding this concept to cover countries in Africa.”