A few years ago, I co-founded an Internet company that has become the leading site in Africa, and one of the leaders in India, for ratings and reviews. Yowzit is a Johannesburg-based firm akin to Yelp in North America and Europe, offering a wide range of reviews across dozens of merchant categories.
While my colleagues and I are proud of what we’ve accomplished commercially with Yowzit, we’re particularly excited about an opportunity to use this platform to improve governance in parts of the world where citizens may have little sway over public services that are often substandard or corrupt. We aim to have Yowzit be a way for people to rate and review public services, down to the local branch level, providing real-time, impartial feedback for government officials to improve on problems and recognize effective institutions. I’m happy to say that we’ve found support for the idea at the highest levels of the South African government, and we aim to bring the concept to many of the other countries where Yowzit operates. Not only should the platform be effective, but it is also financially self-sustaining. It will be natural for people reviewing public institutions to review private businesses, hence generating site traffic that provides the revenues to fund this initiative.
Yowzit has been nominated for a global innovation award by a consortium of international aid agencies and NGOs. Winning such an award would provide powerful momentum for this concept and help to overcome resistance we will inevitably encounter. The first stage of the award process is driven by public voting.
PLEASE, TAKE A QUICK MOMENT AND VOTE FOR YOWZIT. Your support will be tremendously appreciated.
Story by Steve Wunker.
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