Inzwa! was launched in July 2009 by the Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe. Inzwa! is a weekly audio magazine that disseminates human rights information and news in audio format via mobile phones. The initiative uses Freedom Fone technology which is interactive and allows users to both access and contribute information. According to its designers, Freedom Fone leverages the fastest growing tool for personal access to information 24/7 – mobile phones – and marries it with citizen radio programming. (via Soul Beat Africa)
Freedom Fone is a free open source software tool that can be used to build and update a dial-up information service in any language. It is designed to help organisations set up their own dial up information services by removing barriers of cost, skill, and operation. According to its designers, Freedom Fone leverages the fastest growing tool for personal access to information 24/7 (mobile phones) and marries it with citizen radio programming.
According to the organisers, the idea for using Freedom Fone for Inzwa! came out of Kubatana’s desire to extend their outreach to the large and growing number of mobile phone users – without the 160 character limitations of SMS. Using a prototype of the software, the project is working to disseminate the same types of information that Kubatana shares on its website, in its text messages, and via email newsletters in audio format. Listeners can call in to access the information which is updated weekly. The user instructions are as follows:
To call Inzwa! dial +263 913 444 321-8.
Press 1 for “60 Seconds Fresh” current news and views.
Press 2 to enter the “Doorway to Chibanzi for job vacancies, scholarships, or resources”.
Press 3 to find out about everyday heroes, Zimbabwean activists, and activism.
Press 4 to listen to Zanele talking about music and introducing new musicians.
Press 5 to leave a message.
Contact the Kubatana Trust
Visit Kubatana website.