Startups from Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa have emerged winners in the Making All Voices Count 2015 Global Innovation Competition.
Making All Voices Count is an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia. The competition runs each year, calling for innovative ideas to promote transparency, fight corruption and empower marginalised groups.
Over the last six months, ten selected teams had their ideas reviewed by the public, by each other, and by the Making All Voices Count team. Last week, during Global Innovation Week, they pitched their solutions to a jury.
BudgIT, which gives Nigerians access to and information on government budgets, Face2Face, which tracks the experiences of people using Mozambique’s new Right to Information Law to obtain public information, and South Africa’s Citizen Justice Network were named Gold winners alongside Philippines startup Balangay and Indonesia’s A Voice for Women to Deepen Indonesian Democracy.
The five Gold winners will go on to receive grants and six months of mentoring from the programme.
Kenyan mobile messaging service Know Your Rights and Ghana’s Action Voices Project won Silver awards, and will receive further assistance from the Making All Voices Count team.
According to Making All Voices Count, “If you’ve ever had to stand up and pitch an idea in three minutes to a room full of peers, press, a range of dignitaries and the US Ambassador – and do it in a language that is not your mother tongue, you’ll know how these finalists felt. They were nervous, but they pulled it off”.
The organisation revealed that the competition brought people from all ages and all parts of the world together in a space where they can learn from each other, and hear ideas and solutions they would never otherwise engage with.