Empowering young people through the Agoo Platform
For every child, empowerment
"This workshop has given me knowledge on misinformation, the role social media plays and how young people like me can contribute to spread reliable information," said Sherifatu, 26, a youth volunteer as she attended a two-day workshop on how youth in Ghana can access helpful information via the Agoo platform.
Agoo is a local-language Interactive Voice Response (IVR) portal designed to provide relevant information on finance, employability, entrepreneurship, health, COVID-19 prevention, digital and online safety and more.
The platform, which can be accessed via a phone call, is funded by UNICEF and is free to MTN phone line subscribers via a short code and available to everyone in Ghana who has a phone. Through Agoo, young people have a chance to participate in important dialogues which are relevant to their communities to help bring change.
The content creation workshop was organized in Tamale, Northern Region by UNICEF in partnership with Viamo, a mobile technology company. The event sought to review relevant content from the youth organizations and to incorporate new content which relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and young people.
“The workshop has been a wonderful experience,” said 23-year-old Yakubu Kawsada B – who was attending the conference as a volunteer for NGO Savannah Signatures. “I like the Agoo platform so much because it gives you an opportunity to speak to someone, you can even ask questions and give feedback on issues.”
The Agoo platform has been used by 4.8 million young people since 2015, to assess relevant information that empowers them to make better decisions in their lives.
“This workshop is an integral part of how we co-create relevant, timely and actionable behavior change content for the Agoo platform,” said Sandra Abrakwa, Viamo Manager.
Young people engaged in advocacy initiatives with relevant stakeholders such as Curious Minds, Young Urban Women’s movement, World Vision, Northern Youth Parliament and World Food Programme (WFP) participated in drafting and validating messages on topics such as sexual reproductive health and rights in COVID-19 context, mental health, misinformation on vaccination, the digital divide fostered by COVID-19, disability and stigma, skills development and climate change.
“Agoo has provided an easy way to access useful social, economic and health information especially sexual information that young people feel embarrassed to ask about due to fear of stigma, said Abdulai Radia Pagwuni, 20, Student of University for Development Studies, who participated in the workshop.
The Agoo platform is available for free to MTN phone line subscribers users via short code 5100 for free and non-MTN users via call 054 011 8999.