What’s happening in Civic Tech this week?

We’ve put together a list of opportunities, news, resources, and events that you may be interested in. We would love to hear from you. Should you have any opportunities, news, resources, and events you would like to share with the African civic tech community, please email Nkosinathi Mcetywa at nkosinathi.mcetywa@wits.ac.za

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya


Community Call: New report – Biometrics in the humanitarian sector [2023]

Since The Engine Room last looked into the use of biometrics in the humanitarian sector in 2018, the technology has become increasingly embedded in humanitarian programming, with sensitive biometric information being collected from vulnerable individuals in an increasing array of contexts, from Bangladesh to Yemen. Some of the momentum behind using biometric technology in humanitarian contexts has been part of a push towards increased efficiency and more accurate data within the sector. At the same time, however, evidence of harms has mounted, and concerns about risk have increased. From February 2022 to June 2023 The Engine Room, with support from Open Society Foundations (OSF), took a renewed look at the risks and benefits of biometric collection in the humanitarian sector, examined some of the institutional policies that shape their use, and explored recent use cases. Their findings point towards the need for a more holistic and responsible approach to the deployment of biometrics in the sector…read more

Date & Time: Thursday, 7 September 2023 at 16:00-17:00 CAT
Registration link

Apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africa Leaders

Apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders today. This fellowship is the flagship programme of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Since 2014, nearly 6,500 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries…read more

Deadline: Tuesday, 12 September 2023
Apply here

InspiringFifty AFRICA 2023

EQL:HER is excited to announce the launch of InspiringFifty Africa 2023, a free to apply prestigious initiative aimed at recognising and celebrating the incredible achievements of women in tech across the African continent. As a part of this exciting journey, they invite you to play a vital role by nominating the exceptional women you believe deserve to be honoured as part of the Top Fifty Women in Tech!  InspiringFifty is a global initiative run by EQL:HER, dedicated to increasing diversity in the tech industry by amplifying the visibility of women role models. By shining a spotlight on their accomplishments, they hope to inspire more girls and women to pursue tech careers and become future leaders and entrepreneurs. This is an opportunity to nominate the exceptional women you believe deserve to be honoured as part of the Top Fifty Women in Tech!…read more

Deadline: Friday, 22 September 2023
Submit a nomination


WOUGNET’s Engagement With The Uganda Police: Exploring Policy Concerns And Recommendations For Tackling Online Gender-Based Violence Against Women

Online gender-based violence refers to any act that uses technology, primarily the internet, to perpetrate harm, harassment, or discrimination against individuals based on their gender. It manifests in various forms, including but not limited to cyberbullying, revenge porn, doxing, stalking, trolling, hate speech, and threats of violence. With the rise of digital connectivity across Africa, the internet has opened up a world of opportunities for information sharing, economic growth, and social interaction. However, this newfound digital realm has also exposed individuals, particularly women, to a distressing phenomenon known as online gender-based violence (OGBV). Recognizing the increasing threats posed by OGBV, WOUGNET has been actively working to empower women with digital literacy skills and raise awareness about online safety on different platforms such as newspapers, local radio stations, Televisions, SMSs and social media…read more


Innovation Ecosystems in Africa – Solving the problems that we have

Innovation Ecosystems in Africa aims to deepen and broaden the visibility and interrogation of African innovation systems in practice by offering unique analysis of the emergence, growth and future prospects of endogenous innovation practices and lessons across the continent. The stories depict systemic innovations in a range of critical development areas from health and education to leadership and entrepreneurialism, and span from North to South, and East to West, covering more than a dozen different African cities and countries. In addition to sharing knowledge about exciting but rarely acknowledged cases of innovation in Africa, the book serves also as a work to inform policymakers and practitioners throughout Africa on how to learn from experiences towards developing more enabling innovation ecosystems to nurture creativity and solve the problems that we have. This book provides policymakers, business and opinion leaders both inspiration and useful policy takeaways that can guide strategies and support concrete measures to foster and speed up the pace of developmentally impactful innovation on the continent…read more

Read the book here

Podcast: How Can Artificial Intelligence Enhance Deliberative Democracy?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made significant strides in various fields such as agriculture, technology, and digital health, and it has now made a grand entrance into government systems. Considering the current state of democracy in Africa, African governments cannot afford to lag behind in adopting this innovation. The introduction of AI in government systems stems from the growing demand for participatory and deliberative forms of democracy, including budget tracking, social audits, and transparent online voting systems. In this episode, we spoke about something that’s not necessarily new but has been grabbing the headlines for a great part of this year. We will be looking at how Artificial intelligence can be used as a tool for good governance on the African continent…read more

Listen on Spotify 
Listen on Apple Podcast


Invent What’s Next with IBM Research workshop

This event will convene renowned scientists, researchers, healthcare professionals, and industry experts to share their knowledge, experiences, and insights on the latest advancements, challenges, and discoveries in Healthcare on the continent. The agenda includes keynote lectures, panel discussions, and hands-on workshops covering key IBM technologies such as Foundation Models and Quantum Computing as applied to the domain of Healthcare and Life Sciences…read more 

Date: Monday, 4 September 2023 – Wednesday, 6 September 2023
Registration Link

Save the Date: CTIF & Jamfest Conference 2023

CTIN’s annual conference, Civic Tech Innovation Forum (CTIF) is intended to enable the civic tech community and ecosystem actors to engage face-to-face (and virtually!), learn about innovations, tools, and techniques, share experiences, and meet potential collaborators. It presents an opportunity to gain an overview of what is going on in the sector in Africa and the world. The conference also provides an opportunity for the Civic Tech Innovation Network to consult with network members to inform the design of future activities. Jamfest, organised by Jamlab Africa is a conference that brings together journalists, media managers, and other stakeholders across the African continent to talk about innovations, content, and audience analytics, among other conversations. These two events make up the joint conference,  CTIF, and Jamfest. The CTIF and Jamfest is an opportunity to showcase innovators in media and civic technology who are helping move Africa forward; innovators who are tributary streams, unclogging the continent’s rivers of possibility and letting them flow…read more

Date: 16 – 19 October 2023
Registration Link

Save the Date: Privacy Symposium 2023

Privacy Symposium Africa offers a unique platform for thousands of individuals in Africa as well as across the content to meet, connect, discuss, and exchange ideas on the subject of data protection and privacy. Join their global community of privacy experts, policymakers, business leaders, and individuals from across the continent to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the field of privacy and data protection…read more

Date: 7 November – 9 November 2023
Registration Link

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