LOBI – Assistant Bot for SSF

Originally designed as an onboarding tool for ABALOBI products and services, LOBI swiftly evolved into a vital support system for fishers. Utilizing WhatsApp as its platform, LOBI addressed the communication needs of fishers, recognizing the platform's convenience and affordability. WhatsApp's widespread use, with a 95% penetration rate in South Africa, made it the primary choice for engaging with fishers.

Key Achievements:

Increased Engagement:

In the past 6 months, LOBI experienced a substantial surge in user activity. Fishers actively engaged with the chatbot, seeking assistance, accessing ABALOBI services, and understanding FISHER app functionalities.

Support Services Utilization:

Fishers harnessed LOBI to access various ABALOBI services, including savings and Business Cash Advance, providing them with essential financial tools to bolster their businesses.

Education and Empowerment:

LOBI played a pivotal role in educating fishers about the effective use of FISHER app features, equipping them with the knowledge to manage their activities efficiently. LOBI actively shares interesting data snippets and news about what is happening in our community.

Data Gathering and Community Understanding:

LOBI is innovatively utilized as a data gathering tool. Short nudges are sent out to fishers, prompting them to answer survey questions. This approach facilitates a deeper understanding of our community, enabling us to tailor our services more effectively and address the specific needs of the fishers.

Global Expansion:

A significant milestone was achieved as LOBI expanded its reach beyond borders, becoming available in Kenya and the Seychelles. This expansion catered to diverse communities, representing a monumental step towards promoting sustainable fishing practices globally.

Multilingual Interface:

LOBI ensures inclusivity by offering its services in multiple languages: French, Seychellois Creole, KiSwahili, English, and Afrikaans. This multilingual support enhanced user experience, making crucial information accessible to fishers from various linguistic backgrounds.

Overall Statistics:

Total Users Engaged: 258
Total Conversations: 4326

LOBI's remarkable increase in user engagement, coupled with its global expansion and multilingual interface, underscores its pivotal role in supporting small-scale fishers. By providing comprehensive data, market tech, and fintech tools, LOBI empowers fishers to exit Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fisheries. This transition not only encourages sustainable fishing practices but also contributes to fisheries rebuilding and socio-ecological resilience within the community.

The LOBI Chatbot, through its active engagement and support services, emerged as a transformative force in the lives of small-scale fishers. Its role in promoting legal and sustainable fishing practices, combined with empowering fishers through financial tools, highlights the project's success. Moving forward, the ongoing collaboration between LOBI and ABALOBI promises further advancements, ultimately elevating small-scale fisheries systems and the communities they support.