Kenya’s mobile operator, Safaricom, in partnership with Sisi Ni Amani – Kenya (SNA-K), an NGO association, have launched an SMS platform to promote peace as the east African country prepares for elections.
In a statement on Thursday, Safaricom said it would donate 50 million SMSes on short code SMS (8762) and USSD (*762#)
This platform will allow community peace ambassadors to send out peace messages targeted at specific incidents at a micro level with the aim of preventing, reducing or stopping election violence.
According to AllAfrica.com, the two entities have also partnered with other organisations including the Kenya Police Service, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict – a body that seeks to manage integration and conflict in the country.
This move follows violence that rocked the country in 2008 after disputed elections towards the end of 2007.
This violence saw over 1.000 Kenyans killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. At the time, Safaricom had not been prepared for such a scenario and could not move airtime due to logistical challenges resulting to loss in revenue since most mobile users in Kenya were on prepaid.