Botswana's First Lady launches U-Report HIV testing poll at the World AIDS Day commemorations

U-Report is a messaging tool that empowers young people around the world to engage with and speak out on issues that matter to them.

UNICEF Botswana Communications
First Lady launches WAD poll
UNICEF Botswana / 2019
01 December 2019

The President of Botswana, His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and the First Lady, Mrs Neo Masisi joined Government Officials, Development Partners, Civil Society Organisations, People Living with HIV, young people and other stakeholders in the northwestern town of Maun to commemorate World AIDS Day 2019, under the theme “Communities Make a Difference”.

UNICEF was the lead exhibitor at the first ever Youth Digital Village, organised by the National Youth Engagement Committee, under the leadership of the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA). The digital village was a means for youth-focused ICT serving organisations to engage young people and was testament to the strengthened digitalization and innovation of the national HIV and AIDS response.

The UNICEF stall at the Youth Digital Village presented interactive touchscreens and other high technology equipment enabling the country office to engage with adolescents and young people in a more connected digitally savvy way. UNICEF used the platform to primarily showcase, and increase awareness for, U-Report, a mobile messaging app through which young people can share their opinions and motivate young people to become U-Reporters. Over 300 young people were registered as U-reporters during WAD activities.

The highlight of the exhibition was the visit of the President and First Lady to the U-Report stall. They were welcomed by the UNICEF Country Representative, Ms. Julianna Lindsay and briefed on the U-Report project, including the impact it has the potential to achieve in amplifying the voices of young Batswana. The President and First Lady were very impressed with UNICEF’s inclusion of technology in driving initiatives and expressed the importance of U-Report in addressing the issues of young people in Botswana.

The First Lady was invited to launch the U-Report World AIDS Day poll on HIV Testing, which she did with just a tap of a button. This immediately launched the poll sending messages to the 20,200 registered U-Reporters across Botswana who received it on their phones, and over 4,000 reporters responded within a couple of hours.

UNICEF will continue to work closely with the Government to support the scale-up of innovative and tailor-made solutions for adolescents and young people, ensuring the delivery of the right interventions, to the right population, at the right time and at the right scale, contributing to Botswana’s last sprint towards achieving epidemic control by 2023 and ending AIDS by 2030.