14 December 2012

Tanzania: Transparency, Accountability Initiative for Launching Online

THE government will increasingly use new technologies in the collection of views from the public on the state's performance in issues of transparency and accountability, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr Mathias Chikawe, has said.

Launching the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Citizen Views Competition organized by a local NGO, Twaweza, in Dar es Salaam, Mr Chikawe said special websites that would provide relevant information on education, health and water would be put in place to facilitate the exercise.

The websites, he said, would be freely accessible. "Our e-government agency is developing the website to be called 'Nifanyeje' which will provide comprehensive vital information such as how to register a new birth, get a driver's licence or a title deed.

There will also be information specifically related to education, water and health issues," he said. The competition will be conducted for three months after which 10 best ideas will be taken and their composers rewarded. The competition will involve provision of four million books to different schools with a view to helping students air their views on government transparency and accountability.

Mr Chikawe said the competition is a good thing since it is focused on the most important sectors. "The competition focuses on basic education, health and water. It is a good thing as these are among the most sensitive sectors and which touch the majority of the people hence direct contact between the people and the government", he said.

Twaweza Director, Mr Rakesh Rajan, said his organization had prepared the competition as part of its contribution to the OGP and that in every three months 10 best ideas would be taken to the government. "Each quarter in 2013 the best ideas will inform the government, additionally the best entries will win laptops.

The top ideas will also be published online and also will be printed," he said. A renowned author whose books will be used in the competition, Mr Richard Mabala, argued that youths should also play part in development by contributing ideas on the running of the government.

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