By Ambrose Gahene
In a bid to attract tourists to Uganda from the entire globe, a team of Ugandan Innovators last Friday launched a social media platform dubbed; MYLYK. The MYLYK launch, which took place at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, was graced by MyLYK Managing Director Aja Andrew Baryayanga, the former Kabale Municipality Member of Parliament.
He listed several objectives for developing the app. Baryayanga noted that the platform was meant to create meaningful friends and to foster meaningful friendships, relations, beneficial associations, and legacies of people in their communities as well as preserve languages, history and heritage as a resource for posterity.
“The app is also meant to bring the digital era closer to grass-root communities; to promote unity by connecting people and communities globally through travel, tourism, planned community events, and activities; to create job opportunities for the youth directly and through third-party service providers; and to provide a trade and commerce marketplace on which individuals, communities and businesses can buy, sell and promote their products/goods and services”, he said.
Baryayanga said MYLYK users are able to share and invite their friends and family to connect on the platform.
“The platform MyLYK is filled with fun-packed features such as posting, communities, pages, marketplace, jobs, and blogs among others. The Users can post different kinds of fun media including texts, images, videos, links, stickers, and hashtags.” He added, pointing out that “To get started, one simply needs to create an account by entering their username, email account, and password to join the platform.”
Justus Mugisha, MYLYK Chairman, said the platform will help individuals to connect and create meaningful friendships, relations, beneficial associations, and legacies of people in their communities as well as preserving languages, history, and heritage as a resource for posterity.
“It bring the digital era closer to the grass root people and communities, especially for Uganda and Africa where the digital penetration is still at the lowest levels, promote unity by connecting people and communities globally through travel, tourism, planned community events, and activities, create job opportunities for the youth directly and through third-party service providers. Also, by providing a platform for job listings and awareness, such that users are able to easily access various job listings in the different sectors of the economy” he said
Mugisha added that MYLYK App will provide opportunities to individuals, communities and businesses to buy, sell and promote their products or goods and services, raise the Ugandan Flag globally since MyLYK app is a Ugandan initiative and going global with at least 70 percent Ugandan representation. Country licenses will be held by deserving Ugandans where possible and promote tourism through enhancing culture and their tourist attractions globally.
MyLYK can be accessed through the Google Play Store on Android and Apple AppStore the iPhone while non-smartphone users can access MyLYK through its official website at www.mylvk.net.
One can also acquire the App by directly scanning a QR Code which shall in turn direct them to the respective application stores of their device. Also, existing MyLYK users can share and invite their friends and family to connect on the platform.
The app will give users a chance to be their Virtual Community Ambassadors (VCAs). Mugisha explained that the VCA represents their community in the digital space, up to the National Level while a Global Community Virtual Ambassador (GCVA) represents their community beyond their country.
The roles and responsibilities of a VCA include: collecting and posting stories through text, photos, and videos; promoting their communities in different aspects such as culture, and agriculture; verifying community members and posted stories; verifying job seekers in the community; collecting, verifying, posting and billing business adverts in their community; identifying the elderly, the vulnerable and disadvantaged who need to be helped.
VCAs will take 50 percent of money paid for adverts in their respective communities, community SACCOs will take 25 percent while the rest will go to MyLYK.
“VCAs will have an opportunity to travel and engage in international MyLYK contests with other GCVAS from participating countries for various awards and prizes,” added Chairman Mugisha. “MyLYK is now calling upon every citizen who wishes to become VCA of their community, to apply and join the MyLYK VCA program. To apply, simply create an account on MyLYK and apply for the VCA program in the job’s section.”
He also explained that the more one posts on MyLYK, the higher the LykCoin points they are awarded. These coins can then be redeemed and converted into funds for running ads or spent on affiliated products and services on MyLYK.
“MyLYK will use LykCoins as a metric system to award the most active users for their frequent use of the platform and also recognize distinguished members of MyLYK communities,” explained Mugisha.
“LYKCoins not utilized by the close of the year shall be awarded to the User’s primary community, the constituency for the case of Uganda. Then, the communities with the highest number of coins will be rewarded with various gifts like tree seedlings, utilities, local travel, film, music, and dance events,” he added.