In an effort to better engage technology to support its initiatives around Africa, the African Development Bank AfDB has announced a strategic partnership with Mobile Accord for the processing of mobile-based surveys using GeoPoll, the polling platform that uses text messaging to collect data from mobile subscribers.

The partnership with Mobile Accord, which will make it the first time that the concerns, hopes and aspirations of African youth will be heard on such a large scale, will enable the bank to "feel the real pulse of the youth and the development impact of AfDB because we can gather more accurate information in real time," according to AfDB Chief Economist Mthuli Ncube, in a press release.

Mobile Accord operates in four continents and has processed over a billion messages to date. According to its website, it helped respond to the international Haiti relief effort in January 2010 by conducting the largest pSMS (premium text messaging) program in history, processing both the largest number of pSMS transactions in one hour and one day to date. The initiative benefited numerous nonprofit institutions including the American Red Cross, which raised more than $40 million through mobile donations.

A GeoPoll survey was also recently used to ask Tunisian youth for their views on employment, entrepreneurship, and the country's progress since the Arab Spring uprising.