In this podcast series, we hear from civic tech trendsetters about their journeys and how they are using civic tech in enhancing governance and shaping their communities.
Listen to our podcasts here:
The impact of open data
In this episode, we hear from Richard Gevers, founder of Open Cities Lab, a civic technology lab focused on using open data for African urban challenges. Richard is also one of the founding Reference Group members for the Civic Tech Innovation Network. Richard shares his journey from an open data meetup which snowballed into Open Cities Lab focused on using open data in governance.
User-Centred Civic Tech with OpenUp
In this episode, we speak to JD Bothma and Adrian Kearnsbout OpenUp’s approach in implementing civic tech projects and reflect on some challenges they have faced in implementing civic tech projects in rural South Africa. They also talk about the importance of implementing user-centred civic tech projects when attempting to resolve people’s real-life challenges.
Listen to our earlier podcasts here:
Listen to our podcast here: Understanding the work of Civic Tech in Africa
In this podcast, We speak to Professor Geci Karuri-Sebina, National Coordinator at Civic Tech Innovation Network who will share with us more about the Civic Tech Innovation Network and its work. She was invited to be the National organiser at CTIN in its first year, 2018, to support its efforts to engage with different actor groups in SA, including local and national government officials who were relatively unaware of the emerging field of civic tech.
Our Key Accomplishments
- Partnerships: South African Cities Network (SACN), Wits Journalism and Media Lab (JAMLAB), Our Future Cities, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and others for the first edition of the Urban Festival
- Events: 20 Events, including 12 Urban Fest 2020 sessions, 8 Webinars; convening international, continental, and local speakers and audiences.
- Launched YouTube channel, 22 videos and counting shared
- Launched Civic Tech Case studies project, 50+ African civic tech studies captured
- Launched new website
- Expanded Civic Tech Africa Atlas
- Launched Africa civic tech research project and survey
- Completed CTIN community Accountability Framework
- Began Fundraising to sustain the project
The conversation centred around ways in which journalism, media and civic tech communities can contribute to reshaping African narratives.
Panellists included Moky Makura, executive director of Africa No Filter; Herman Chinery-Hesse, founder and chairman of SoftTribe and Afrikan Echoes and Ainehi Edoro, founder and editor-in-chief of Brittle Paper.
Africans cannot continue to allow outside sources to define their stories, said Moky Makura, executive director of Africa No Filter, speaking at the Jamlab Meetup virtual series on reclaiming African narratives through storytelling.
Three organisations are actively seeking to shift African narratives.
Brittle Paper, a digital content creation platform centred on African literature, believes that central to this rethinking is how we reclaim African literature. The platform aims to cultivate a fun and informative environment for African literature lovers and show that there is more to African literature than stories of suffering, said founder Ainehi Edoro.
The space sets out to guide readers on how to navigate the archive of African literature. “It’s important to invite readers into a feast of storytelling,” said Edoro. While Brittle Paper is built to be an incubation space for writers, Edoro is recognisant that most Africans are not online. “We have to pair digital with the real world physical spaces, like fairs where there are places in the community where people can be involved,” she said.
Ghanian tech entrepreneur Herman Chinery-Hesse has launched a platform that seeks to reduce the barriers to entry for budding writers in the literary world. African Echoes, what he calls “an assembly line of writers”, is a platform for unknown writers to be able to launch easily and readily onto the international stage. It gives African writers with unique stories a platform to tell their stories in their native language. Submissions to African Echoes are vetted by an executive editorial board which ensures that the content passes the organisation’s quality test.
“We translate, we launch on our app and send it out onto the world. We will be your publishing house,” Chinery-Hesse told the Jamlab Meetup.
Crucially, the board consists of Africans who understand African stories.
Makhura pointed out three prevailing narratives about Africa that were problematic. The first was that “Africa is broken and rest of the world wants to come fix us”, the second was that “we lack urgency because we can’t seem to fix ourselves we’re always looking outside”, and lastly “we’re dependent”.
She said through grants, Africa No Filter supported organisations that were disrupting the industry and shifting these harmful narratives. Moreover, as Africans we have to create and consume content by other Africans and not continue to be dominated by stories from Hollywood, she said.
“We need to make sure that we’re putting out our stories and that we are consuming our own content. As many people as they are on the continent plus on the diaspora, we will be shifting narratives.”
The way in which we consume content has changed and we have to think outside of the box if we are to reclaim African narratives.
Watch the full conversation
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The Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN) wants to better understand its community and in so doing curate better content for all its users. This is in line with the organisation’s objectives of raising awareness about civic tech on the continent by being able to engage with a wide array of audiences including practitioners, researchers, experts and decision-makers with interests in civic tech.
CTIN wishes to offer a space that enables the community to discover, connect, learn and share civic tech-based knowledge with other like-minded participants on and off our platforms; with the ultimate objective being civic tech awareness across the continent.
Here is a list of opportunities you can apply for this February
African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative Programme
The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) is the accelerant behind hundreds of African female entrepreneurs who have transformed and grown their businesses. It is seeking the next 200 women who are ready to join its cohort for a high-impact applied learning experience.
It’s seeking Women who are:
- Founders of businesses that have been in operation for at least two years in any industry and have at least two employees (either full time or part-time) OR women who have a strong business concept and plan to launch their business within the next year
- Founders of social enterprises are encouraged to apply; founders of NGOs or nonprofit organizations are no longer eligible for the 12-month program
- Citizens of any African country, currently living on the continent or in the diaspora
- Comfortable with remote teamwork and collaboration, especially using digital tools
- Proficient in verbal and written English
- Able to regularly (at least weekly) access the Internet through a computer or tablet
Deadline: 31 January 2021
Civicus: The Youth Action Lab - Strengthening Youth-Led Movements
The Youth Action Lab is a one-year co-creation lab for grassroots youth activists based in the global south which works to support their movements to become more resilient and sustainable in their pursuit of a more equitable world. The Lab is an innovative, safe, active, inclusive, collective, representative and connected space, online and physical for grassroots activists, which thoughtfully considers diverse contexts and ecosystems to better resource them to flourish with their communities.
Participants in the Lab work to build political solidarity and networks, strengthen capacities in engaging with policy processes, and access resources to support their movement. The Lab will act as a hub for testing new ways of working within civil society and mobilizing learnings from across sectors in support of youth-led movements
| Deadline: 01 February 2021
#DATA4COVID19 AFRICA CHALLENGE
From now through February 5, 2021, l’Agence française de développement (AFD), together with Expertise France and The GovLab, is soliciting innovative proposals (re)using data in a collaborative and responsible way to provide actionable intelligence for decision-makers and people to respond to COVID-19 and future pandemic challenges across Africa.
AFD, together with Expertise France and The GovLab, is seeking ideas and proposals that (re)use data to provide actionable insight on COVID-19 along with the following domains:
- Public Health
| Deadline: 05 February 2021
TICTeC Show and Tells 2021 - Call for Proposals
This series of TICTeC Show and Tells provides the opportunity for individuals and organisations to apply to make 7-minute presentations followed by a short Q&A at a TICTeC Show and Tell.
“We encourage presentation proposals to focus on the specific impacts of civic technologies, rather than showcase new tools that are as yet untested.
TICTeC is all about bringing together those interested in civic tech so they can learn from each other, so ultimately better digital tools are developed.”
| Deadline: 14 February 2021 23:59 GMT
The African Civic Engagement Academy (ACEA)
The African Civic Engagement Academy (ACEA) is a free online training program and networking opportunity offered to selected mid-career NGO and public sector leaders across sub-Saharan Africa.
Who is the ACEA Intended For? The Academy is intended for mid-career individuals with demonstrated leadership experience in NGO, non-profit, or public sector roles. Space is limited and applications are competitive.
- Be between the ages of 30 and 45 as of January 1, 2021.
- Serve in a leadership role with a civil society organization (including NGOs and non-profit community organizations) or a government unit responsible for engaging with the public.
- Have a demonstrated record of leading civic engagement efforts, including projects and programs to advocate, engage, and communicate in an inclusive way.
| Deadline: 15 February, 2021 AT 5PM GMT
The U.S. - Africa Tech Challenge
Seeking innovative responses to counter disinformation and propaganda in Africa.
Disinformation and propaganda pose a threat to trust, cohesion, and security. We need the tools to understand, expose, and counter these threats.
The U.S. – Africa Tech Challenge invites technologists from across Africa to submit an application to present their solution against disinformation and propaganda to an audience of government, civil society, and private sector stakeholders. Up to eight organizations will be chosen to demo their technology. Up to three organizations will be selected as winners of the Challenge and will receive funding totalling $250,000 USD.
| Deadline: 28 February, 2021
Propella Future Makers Programme
Future Makers is an intensive programme “from concept to market” process run by Propella for IT innovators.
• You need a great idea and some determination
• An app, a service or an IT application that no-one else has thought of yet or requires help to commercialise and scale
• OR, you need a product or service that will facilitate the commercialisation and growth of a tech business eg social media, bookkeeping, CAD-CAM design, software development etc
• Idea must fit into the operations of a Smart City or Community, such as Industry 4.0, IoT, etc.
• Approximately 100 ventures are selected to attend a two day Stage 1 “Bootcamp”
• No cost to participate
| Deadline: Not Supplied
The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award
The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is launching its first competition designed to highlight and support the work of pioneering young entrepreneurs developing health innovations.
We want to encourage business entrepreneurship and help advance promising health care solutions that support and empower healthcare workers – those on the frontline of delivering healthcare to communities. Therefore, we are looking for innovative healthcare solutions aimed at supporting, protecting, and empowering healthcare workers through solutions like training programmes, providing protective equipment or improving the quality of healthcare.
| Deadline: 31 March 2021
While CTIN encourages its community to apply for these opportunities, CTIN takes no responsibility for these opportunities. Our opportunities are collated from various sources. While we make every attempt to ensure this information is as accurate as possible, we take no responsibility for its authenticity, application processes and/or results. The current information is derived from each initiative’s website.