South Africa’s Tafari Capital recently launched a COVID-19 management app in collaboration with the Lesotho government. The app is designed to empower and strengthen the Government’s efforts to end COVID-19 transmissions. In less than 3 weeks since launch, the app has registered over 50 000 users and is growing.
“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,” says Dr Thabo Lehlokoe, Chairman at Tafari Capital.
The Citizen App functions as a government-led COVID-19 one-stop shop for all related information. Here, users 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. 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 checking vaccination status on ticket purchases and the ability to pay for the venue on the app.
“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,” he says.
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.
“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,” says Lesotho’s Minister of health, Semano Sekatle.
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.
Innovation that functions to support trade in Lesotho and any of the 55 African Union nations is important in the success of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as a Union Nation member, improved trade in Lesotho helps accelerate intra-African trade and boosts Africa’s trading position in the global market.