Building a new vision for civic engagement

Leon Hemkemeyer

Can tech fulfil its promise to drive civic engagement? Approaches and lessons from Africa.
Lightning Box 1
Lightning Talk

Digital approaches and methods have arguably enriched the relationship between government and citizens in many parts of the world. From encouraging citizens engagement to driving community action, incorporating technology to traditional formats has enabled citizens to scale cooperation across interests. This has however not been without its challenges. While some of these challenges are structural, for example, with managing emerging uneven power relationships, others are practical. In Africa for example, about two thirds of people still do not have access to reliable internet. Technology facilitated civil society structures therefore need to explore models that build on the gains provided by digital while continuing to strengthen traditional processes.

Supported by GIZ and EPD, the African Union Civic Tech Fund identifies and scales effective models unique to the African experience. This talk will explore:

  • Global trends and challenges in the civic tech discourse and changes experience in recent years.
  • How these apply to the African context?
  • What is the promise of civic tech in African countries and the unique context?
  • What examples of models exist to solve local governance challenges in specific parts of the African continent?