Businessman AB Moosa creates Afri-Tec app in anti-GBV drive

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AB Moosa, CEO of Avalon Group, showcasing his app.
AB Moosa, CEO of Avalon Group, showcasing his app.

Businessman AB Moosa, CEO of Avalon Group, has introduced an anti-gender-based-violence and femicide (GBV-F) app, which is being billed as a new way of quashing the scourge in South Africa.

Moosa, who leads SA’s oldest independent cinema group, and is also CEO of Afri-Tec Technologies, says he is constantly seeking ways to empower ordinary citizens through technology, hence the launch of Afri-Tec Alert.

The safety app has features and resources around GBV-F, which enable victims to send an emergency alert that includes their live location. Afri-Tec is now available from the iOS and Android app stores.

South Africa is seeking multi-pronged solutions to end GBV, which has been dubbed a second pandemic in the country by president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Technology companies, including global ones like Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter, have recently upped their efforts to help stop violence against women by tapping into tech solutions.

Similarly, local tech entities such as Vodacom, Always Safe Networks and citizen engagement platform GovChat are bolstering efforts to curb GBV.

Moosa believes the Afri-Tec Alert app can be used to reduce crime in communities across the country.

The businessman unveiled the #END GBV-campaign in partnership with tech non-profit organisation Empire Partner Foundation (EPF).

“We have demonstrated the app to many organisations who have lauded the app and its features, including those who attended the launch of our #END GBV-F campaign last Saturday. The app was so well-received that they are all in the process of rolling out the app to their databases,” Moosa says.

“Technology and its ability to disrupt is well-evidenced and a powerful tool that can have a positive impact on addressing many societal ills, including that of GBV-F, not only in SA but internationally.”

Activist endorsement

Moosa launched the app at an event that was attended by various activists, who feel the app will be an important tool for anti-GBV campaigns going forward.

GBVF-focused organisations such as Khuhluka, Black Doek Movement, Resolute Men, representatives from Amnesty International, the Gender Command Centre and local government departments attended the launch.

“The app proves to be a very practical and efficient way GBV victims can call for help when they find themselves in a compromising situation. They thought of every GBV victim regardless of their social status when they developed the app. The app is not limited to victims with smartphones only but all victims can use the app when they need help,” says Lerato Luthuli, one of the social justice activists.

“The other benefit of the app is the data that will be collected, which can be accessible to relevant stakeholders that can use it in favour of the victims. It’s also comforting to know that the app is not limited to GBV victims but anyone who finds that their safety is at risk. Afri-Tec is an impressive app and I hope it gets the recognition and endorsement required to help GBV victims before it’s too late.”

Ninel Musson, spokeswoman for the #EndGBV-F campaign, comments: “Based on the response to the app directly from GBV organisations and community activists at the event, the Afri-Tec app could be a game-changer in the fight to end gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa. The disruptive nature of technology is exactly what’s required right now.

“Over the last years it’s been impossible to ignore the prevalence of GBV. We’ve had global movements like #MeToo giving women a platform to speak out. Closer to home we have daily news of horrific incidents with you women. We have felt shocked, disgusted, saddened. We have felt scared. Now it is time to act.”

“We need a data-driven approach to identify gaps, priority areas and deploy solutions – we can do this with the Afri-Tec platform,” says Mikhail Mariemuthu, manager at EPF.

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