It’s no secret that COVID-19 accelerated the use of technology to perform functions that were previously performed through human interaction. Access to some government services was also enabled via digital means. The South African government enabled citizens in need of government services to apply for grants via online means. One tech platform that enabled such intervention was GovChat. A technology platform company that was built by one Prof. Eldrid Jordaan.
He is one person who pioneered the use of technology for the South African government. He made it possible for citizens to use a tech platform to access government services. This is not always easy for the government. Governments often build technologies and they are hardly adopted by intended users. GovChat had millions trying to use the technology tool to access government services.
To make this possible Prof. Jordaan customised a WhatsApp technology to be used for government communications.
Citizens were happy with the technology however Meta the parent company for WhatsApp was not happy. Jordaan was challenged for using this tool for government services.
It’s a matter that has been brought to the Competition Commission and courts of law. The unhappiness by Meta resulted in Goliath and David like war between a South African tech startup and a US tech giant. It’s a story that attracted the attention of the local tech ecosystem as well as government officials. He recently stepped down from GovChat and founded another tech company, Suppple.
Prof. Eldrid Jordaan will be sharing parts of this in a gathering that will be hosted by the African innovations in Cape Town tomorrow between 9 and 12. The event is hosted by an entity to share insights about innovations in the African continent as part of celebrating the Africa month. Interested ones can attend the event in person. More details on how to attend can be found here: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/218901-african-innovation-business-breakfast/?ref=events-list&fbclid=IwAR3BPrUvPP0J3jpGe2ZacU9xsa8yrt6xy-idh_hM4-t5TqH7GSs16P8_sW8#/