Elections are vehicles that provide the basis for development and service delivery closest to where people live; they represent hope for better futures. The African continent is slated to hold 13 national elections in 2021, with eyes largely on presidential elections in Ethiopia and Zambia in the latter half of the year and possibly Nigeria in 2022. The continent will also see numerous legislative and parliamentary elections.
But what makes this year’s round of elections different from all the other years, coupled with all other existing challenges, is that they will be held during a pandemic. In our next Jamlab Meetup, we would like to find out what the implications might be for the roles of the media and various civic tech actors who are typically involved with trying to strengthen citizen engagement, increase transparency, accountability and democratic governance.
What different conditions can be anticipated? What strategies can be implemented to help journalists and civic activists to prepare and improve on ways of empowering communities and the diversity of voices within the public space through digital media and other social innovations? What threats are there to democracy during this period?
- Kathy Magrobi, founder of Quote This Woman+ in South Africa
- Ivan Louis Pinno, co-founder of Digital Woman Uganda
- Dr Caroline Khene, senior lecturer at De Monfort University in the United Kingdom
- Daniel Odongo, director of implementation at Ushahidi