The civic engagement platform, which has been in operation in Nigeria since 2017, will be hosted on Web, Android & IOS Apps is set to be up scaled and launched in Liberia , Kenya, Gambia, Malawi, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Cape Verde.
The platform will run in six languages: Arabic, French, Amharic, Swahili, Portuguese, and English, which are the most widely spoken languages across these countries.
The platform will be an upgraded version of the iFollow The Money (iFTM); a data-driven online platform.
It will host courses that will empower youths with the knowledge and skills to initiate budget tracking, citizen engagement, policy formulation, advocacy, and execution in their local dialect.
The platform is designed to benefit countries that share similar challenges of a dearth of good governance, misappropriation of funds, and lack of accountability and transparency at all levels of governance structure.
Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of Connected Development submits that the platform will empower youths with the right tools to seek and demand better from the government and advance democracy.
“Our goal is to ensure that citizens in nine countries have the capacity and knowledge to drive accountability and transparency in public governance. Moreover, We want citizens to enjoy the dividends of democracy and this tool is designed to foster participation in public space and public discourse in indigenous languages,” he said.
For her part, Pearl Utuk, Program Officer at CODE, stated that the FTM platform would take lessons from Nigeria to advance accountability in the public sector, in other African countries.
“This civic tech tool which has proven effective in Nigeria will be tested across the nine countries, and learnings garnered will aid future upscaling across Africa.
The African Union Civic Tech Fund (AUCTF) which supported the upscaling of this platform shows effective problem analysis on the continent.
The Fund challenges other stakeholders to support similar developments as well as the need for collaborations between civil society organizations working to drive social accountability in Africa,” she said.
It will additionally build and empower an online community of passionate citizens to actively participate in governance and hold their government accountable for effective governance and quality service delivery in Africa.
Follow The Money (iFTM) is a grassroots-based mobilization tool that provides unique value to citizens by ensuring social inclusion, quality service delivery, and social justice through tracking budgetary allocations and funds expended to provide quality education, healthcare facilities and
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene infrastructures, thereby triggering and hosting conversations that create ripple effects on awareness, citizens can hold their elected representatives to account, thereby ensuring a strengthened democracy.