A Civil Society Group, Connected Development, CODE says over seven million people across 10 African countries are now better equipped to track government approved projects in their communities, using the upgraded iFollowTheMoney platform.
The platform which was launched by Connected Development CODE, will be deployed to monitor developments in Nigeria, Kenya, the Gambia, Malawi, Cameroon, Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Cape Verde.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja, the Executive Director of CODE, Mallam Hamzat Lawal, said the iFollowTheMoney upgrade platform, was launched to empower citizens in Africa with the right information to kick against corruption and hold their governments accountable.
“The African continent is plagued with corrupt practices where citizens most times do not have the platform to air their grievances or report some of those corrupt issues in their various localities. So this platform provides a unique avenue where citizens can document what their needs are, report how government is providing various interventions around hygiene and Sanitation, basic education, health, access to water, as well as infrastructures.” He said.
Lawal who explained that the software is accessible in six international languages including, Arabic, French, Swahili, Portuguese, English and Amharic, expressed optimism that the African Union will at some point adopt the initiative.
According to him, democracy is at risk following the trends in African countries where the leaders are being ousted from power due to corrupt practices, but he however stressed that with the software, young people will now be able to take action by leveraging on technology to take ownership of the democratic processes.
The Project Coordinator, Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction, Oxfam, Mr. Henry Ushie, lauded the initiative, which he said, is coming at a time when the civic space is shrinking, as it would put more power in the hands of people to monitor projects and follow the money at their various communities.
Similarly, the Policy Advisor, Civic Space Oxfam Novib, Netherland, Ms Federica Cova, was optimistic that the platform would serve as a great way to ask for accountability in the private sector and government sectors.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Annabel Nwachukwu