Launched in late 2021, the CivicTech Fund Africa is designed to accelerate the work of young African innovators who are using technology as a means to strengthen citizen participation and democratic processes at local and continental levels.

Civic technology” refers to all digital tools that provide the opportunity to facilitate the organisation and mobilisation of citizens around governance. Properly deployed, it contributes to strengthening the democratic process and inclusive decision-making. Civic participation is a powerful force for fuelling social change and strengthening democracy. Launched in November 2021, the Civic Tech Fund is part of the pan-African Charter Project Africa with the collaboration of the African Union Civic Tech Fund.

6 associations and 11 countries on the continent to start

The mission of the Civic Tech Fund Africa is to provide seed grants and technology support to successful projects. 11 African Union member countries (Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia) will be involved initially before the programme expands to the rest of the continent. Supported financially by the European Union, the fund will be administered by the Charter Project Africa consortium of six organisations: AfricTivistes, Code for Africa, the Gorée Institute, Democracy Works Foundation, European Centre for Development Policy Management and European Partnership for Democracy. The Civic Tech Fund Africa is also supported by the African Union. 

43% of the continent connected

It is estimated that only 43% of the African continent is connected to the Internet. In order to be fully deployed, civic technology must be accompanied by the maintenance of open internet spaces and investment in infrastructure to allow unrestricted access to the internet for citizens. In some countries on the African continent, it has been observed that the announcement of civic technology may have led to negative reactions from governments in the form of cyber-surveillance or Internet blackouts. The project opens up digital spaces for collaboration between citizens, civic initiatives and policy makers in the African Union, at national, regional and continental levels. 

A new mechanism for funding innovative civic initiatives

This new fund is designed to facilitate access to a range of opportunities for engaged citizens: a seed grant, technology support, data and expert input on civil rights. The CivicTech Fund Africa aims to support democratic governance by promoting innovative and digital civic participation. This project promotes the use of technology to amplify the voice of citizens!

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