February, 22, 2011, REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Omidyar Network announced today a grant of up to $130,000 to Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria), a coalition of individuals and youth-led organizations leading a campaign aimed at enabling citizen participation in the Nigerian general elections in April.
The grant will be used in support of a non-partisan, one-stop online portal designed to aid voter registration, provide candidate information and monitor the elections. The project will utilize Twitter, Facebook and local social media tools such as Nairaland, Naijatalk and Gnaiga, as well as SMS, radio and television, to broaden its reach and citizen engagement.
“Democracy requires active participation, and the majority of Nigeria’s population under 35 years of age has never voted. EiE Nigeria’s platform and use of social media will help engage this significant portion of Nigeria’s citizens and enable active participation and the ability to influence outcomes on issues of importance to them,” said Stephen King, investment partner, Omidyar Network.
Through its Government Transparency investment area, Omidyar Network invests in organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process and hold governments to account. Over the last two years, the firm has granted over $30M to organizations such as Ushahidi in Kenya, Janaagraha in India and the Sunlight Foundation in the United States.
“Nigeria’s general elections in April are very critical to the next 50 years of Nigeria’s development and are being described as a tipping point for the country. At EiE Nigeria, we are particularly excited about how this grant enables us to use technology to connect young Nigerians across the country and renew their interest in issues of leadership and governance,” said ‘Yemi Adamolekun, secretary to the board, EiE Nigeria.
The EiE Nigeria coalition is committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through advocacy, activism and the mobilization of the youth population as responsible citizens. Approximately 70% of Nigeria’s population is under the age of 35, most are disenfranchised and yet disproportionately have access to technology, mobile phones, the internet, radio and television. EiE Nigeria’s call to action is promoted through a campaign called Register, Select, Vote and Protect (R.S.V.P). Citizens are urged to register to vote, educate themselves and each other about the candidates, vote, and stay engaged and active in the political process once votes are cast. For more information, please visit: www.eienigeria.org
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $383 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, consumer Internet, mobile technology and government transparency. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visitwww.omidyar.com.