SA business group launches COVID-19 app to help Lesotho
South African entrepreneur group Tafari Capital recently launched a COVID-19 management app – the Citizen App - in collaboration with the Lesotho government.
Tafari Capital was founded by 23 members, who are Black professionals and entrepreneurs with varying skills and experience in the private sector as well as the public sector in South Africa.
According to the organisation, the app is designed to empower and strengthen the Lesotho government's efforts to end COVID-19 transmissions.
Using the app, people can access their vaccine certificates, COVID-19 test results, heat maps, surveys, test sites, clinics and hospitals, patient management, resource management and social and economic tools.
Tafari Capital states: “In the events module, we will introduce a ticketing system which will incorporate COVID-19 protocols like automatically limiting the number of customers to a function, automatically check vaccination status on ticket purchases and the ability to pay for the venue on the app.”
Tafari Capital says since its launch, the app has registered over 50 000 users.
Dr Thabo Lehlokoe, Chairman at Tafari Capital, says, “The Citizen App is a tool that government and businesses can use to open up economic activity in the country including movement across the borders safely by identifying people who have vaccinated fully and those who are unvaccinated but have negative COVID-19 tests to openly engage in economic activity.”
“The pandemic may be low now, but COVID-19 is by no means over. In fact, in other countries the infection numbers are slowly ticking up and we have been informed that a new variant has been identified in South Africa and other countries. This means that there are still COVID-19 related restrictions on travel and the key to being allowed to travel is to have a valid vaccine certificate and or a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. This is where Citizen App comes in.”
Everyone who enters Lesotho is checked for this information and it forms part of data that informs the country’s health records. The App helps support the free flow of goods and people which directly impacts the economy.
Lesotho’s Minister of health, Semano Sekatle, adds, “The country is grateful for this innovative donation, the Application will help eliminate previously experienced errors in monitoring vaccination data, it will also play a huge role in assisting our country’s economic recovery efforts, as the country still faces challenges– exacerbated by COVID-19.”
Tafari Capital donated the APP to Lesotho after the government’s calls to fight the pandemic.
“Since Tafari Capital had already developed the Citizen App, we offered it as a contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Lesotho. We offered the same solution to the South African government, but they chose not to take it. The Lesotho Ministry of Health accepted our offer in May 2020. We then proceeded to customize the solution working together with Nacosec to respond to country specific requirements,” says Dr Lehlokoe.
The Lesotho government has, among other measures, mandated the use of COVID-19 certificates to prove vaccination, recovery, or a recent negative test. The App will help provide access to secure digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates and COVID-19 test results, location of places for testing and emergency contact information to all who enter the country.
“The App will help accelerate free movement of commodities and people which will improve the country’s trade, this forms part of Tafari Capital's efforts to continue to strive to address socio-economic challenges to help create opportunities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region,” says Dr Lehlokoe.