2016 Annual Report


Dear Friends,

In 2007, we founded Praekelt Foundation with the belief that mobile technology would make it possible for every person on the planet to access essential lifesaving information.

Driven by this belief, over the last decade we have explored the many ways mobile phones can improve the lives of poor and marginalised people: developing agriculture information systems in Kenya and Zambia; launching voter-education campaigns in South Africa, Libya, and India; creating free-to-access youth-engagement portals in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia; connecting adolescent girls in India with mentors; and building educational tools for students in South Africa. We have achieved far more than we set out to do.

In the process of creating these mobile services, we solved tremendous technical challenges to delivering information to millions of basic phones in the poorest areas in the world. We built platforms that have reached more than a 100 million people in over 60 countries, and we launched the first national mobile health platform, Mom Connect.

Now it is time to take stock and decide how best to apply the skills, knowledge, and resources we have developed. We know that national-scale mobile platforms have the best chance of delivering sustainable impact. We have also learnt that providing critical information contributes to improving lives, but is not enough on its own. Often, there are barriers
that prevent our users from acting on the information we provide. Increasingly, our task will become understanding how to overcome these challenges. This means that in finding technical and logistical solutions to delivering information on a global scale, we will also need to invest in real-time models that will allow us to better understand our users, and ultimately to create and support positive behaviours that achieve better results. 

We have also come to understand that girls and women are central to our mission. To ensure that our work creates impact, we need to reach and engage the most vulnerable and marginalised—those who stand to gain the most from our services—and empower them to become catalysts for change in their communities. 

The growth and impact we have achieved over the past ten years would not have been possible without the time, effort, and dedication of our board and our talented team, which has grown from our first team member ten years ago, to over 60 people in six countries today.

I am incredibly excited to be a part of this amazing organisation, and the growth and impact we will experience in the next ten years.

I would like to thank every person who has been with us on this journey. 


— Gustav Praekelt
Founder @ Praekelt.org