Proto and Reformers of Africa announce partnership to deliver COVID-19 education chatbots to Global South health services

Kigali, Rwanda

Proto a global leader in conversational AI for emerging markets — is pleased to announce a partnership with the non-profit, pan-African, civic-tech organization Reformers of Africa to deliver multilingual educational chatbots to health services during the the COVID-19 pandemic.


Together, Proto and the Reformers of Africa aim to improve access to COVID-19 healthcare knowledge and reduce misinformation across the widest-possible population in African countries — including "bottom-of-the-pyramid" citizens who are historically-marginalized and often overlooked in technology-driven solutions.


The chatbots are easily accessed via Whatsapp and webchat for smartphones and via SMS for feature phones. Powering this technology is customized Natural Language Understanding for under-resourced, and mixed languages, including Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Swahili, Arabic, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, and English.  


“We understand the value of collective intelligence and collaboration,” said Elkanah Oluyori, Head Of Strategic Partnerships at Reformers of Africa, adding, “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Proto, as it is in line with our mandate to promote and support digital technologies that tackle social challenges in Africa. Proto’s chatbot technology is an opportune way for us to deliver vital healthcare information.”  
“The COVID-19 crisis is having an extremely disruptive social and economic impact on some of the planet’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Proto CEO Curtis Matlock. “With health services in Africa seeking localized, effective mass-communication solutions, deploying the Proto chatbot can provide accurate information at this critical time .”


Proto’s natural language processing (NLP) team, supported by engineers from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), will assist in creating, deploying, and maintaining the COVID-19 chatbots — while the Reformers of Africa will reach out to their extensive network, promoting the chatbot solution to healthcare providers and governments across Africa.  


About Proto


Proto serves emerging markets with AI Customer Experience (AICX) solutions for multilingual contact centers. Its technology is powered by a proprietary natural language processing (NLP) engine for non-English and mixed languages. Proto’s deep-learning techniques and domain expertise increase automation rates and maximize customer lifetime value.


About the Reformers of Africa


The Reformers Initiative for Development in Africa (Reformers of Africa) is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental pan-African civic-tech organization dedicated to promoting and supporting ideals, principles and practices of participatory governance, digital social innovation, peace, and government accountability in Africa.

Matthew Heisie is the Head of Accounts at Proto. He specializes in emerging market expansion across Africa and Southeast Asia. To reach Matt, please write to him at matthew@proto.cx.