Mobile phones to youth in Southern Africa have become more than just a luxury but an actual necessity. This is evident in our mobile advice support services that have been running over the last few years. These support services provide young people in need with information and support access such as HIV/AIDS, Depression, Abuse, Drug Addiction, Relationship problem and other social problems they require. The adoption of these mobile services over the last few months has proved that mobile phones are part of the fabric of youth in Southern Africa. These services currently support over 250,000 users and majority of these users (92%) are aged between 13 – 35. Interestingly the gender is almost equally spread with 49% Female users and 51% Male users with most of the users being based in the northern parts of Southern Africa.

Age demographics of Mobile Advice Support Users

Most of these youth access these mobile services via popular South African Mobile Social Network, MXit , where low cost messaging and its rich social features are attracting millions (estimated 26 Million in SA) of young people. These support services are offered via the JamiiX platform that provides a contact centre type service via Instant Messengers (IMs). With these high volumes of conversations (average 300 conversations to the service per hour) it shows that youth are looking at the mobile phone as an outlet to access support and not just about the fancy ring tones or wallpapers.

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