CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Kenya: Ten Global Innovations in Contention for $100,000 in Nairobi

Ten innovations focusing on transparency and governance from 8 countries in Asia and Africa are fighting it out for $ 100,000 under the global innovations competition part of the Make All Voices Count initiative by Ushahidi, Hivos and the Institute of Development Studies.

The ten include the following: The Children Engagement for Government Accountability project from Tanzania; Mandera Times from Kenya; Citizen Desk from Mozambique; Petrol Watch and Citizen Eye from Ghana and Going the Extra Mile from South Africa.

Others include: Citizen Engagement to Implement Election Manifesto from Bangladesh, Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit from Pakistan and an SMS Innovation seeking to reduce maternal mortality from Indonesia.

Speaking during the launch of the Global Innovations Week at the iHub, secretary to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHRC) Patricia Nyaundi said the innovations were meant to bring transparency in governance and thus have citizens a say in the running of the state.

"For democracy and freedom to exist citizens must have a say in government and thus this innovations will improve communication by making dialogue more effective between the citizens and their leaders," she said.

Executive director at Ushahidi Julianna Rotich noted that the ten finalists were as a product of a thorough competitive process that included public voting narrowing the list from 196 entries to just 30 entries in the first round.

"Our aim is to ensure that every voice can count and let us make it count," said Rotich.

The competition that was created in November last year enhances communication between government and citizens through creative, cutting edge solutions that use web and mobile technology and targets democratic governance and accountability.

The winner who will walk away with the grand prize of $100,000 will be announced on Thursday by a jury comprising of Dr. Shiela Ochugboju of Nigeria, Dr. Bitange Ndemo and Dr. Shikoh Gitau of Kenya, Ghana's Bright Simons, South Africa's Chris Kabwato and Faisal Chohan of Pakistan.

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