“Copac needs US$500 000 to print more copies” went yesterday’s headline in Zimbabwe’s most read Sunday paper, The Sunday Mail. The story’s intro goes:
The Constitution Select Committee (Copac) requires more than US$500 000 to print and distribute additional copies of the Draft Constitution before the March 16 referendum. In an interview yesterday, Copac co-chair Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said many parts of the country were yet to deliberate on the Draft after the available copies ran out.
We were pointed to the article by biNu Zimbabwe representative, William Chui, when he notified us of a new app on their platform created to alleviate that distribution problem. By making the constitution available on biNu, owners of feature phones (going up to the smartest phones available) in Zimbabwe can easily access it by installing the small java application.
biNu uses cloud based optimisation technologies to compress data so that it doesn’t cost users as much it would using other technologies (downloading a pdf, or viewing it on a website) and also so that the users still loads something even when the network is poor. biNu says its technology is 10 times more efficient than regular mobile browsers.
We completely loved it. And frankly it’s the first carry-around-and-read-conveniently format of the constitution we have come across yet. And to think that, immediately, without the need to print and transport copies around the country, anyone with access to a $30 GPRS-enabled phone and a bit of data credit, can access the constitution and make an informed decision in advance of voting in the referendum. The magic of tech 🙂
If you are reading this and would like to access the constitution on biNu, just go to App Catalog -> News & Blogs -> Africa -> Zimbabwe -> Constitution. If you don’t have biNu, you can download it on binu.com.
Here’s another screenshot we took of the constitution: