ABOUT THE FUND
Civic participation is a powerful force to fuel social change and strengthen democratic governance. Today, civic technology and digital engagement are central vehicles through which participation can be promoted.
For this reason, we are looking for innovative initiatives that use civic technology and digital engagement to facilitate inclusive public decision-making and strengthen democratic governance across Africa.
Through a series of funding rounds spanning the African continent, the Fund will provide financial and technical support to bring to life original ideas and scale up existing initiatives to amplify citizen voices.
WHAT WE FUND
We will fund organisations acting within the civic space, based in African Union Member States. Particular attention will be paid to youth- and women-led initiatives. Additionally, the Fund may also provide support to initiatives led by businesses that are strongly committed to advancing civic participation.
Financial support will be awarded through multiple rounds focusing on specific geographic and thematic areas. Winners will receive grants of between € 10,000 and € 32,000 each to kickstart or upscale their projects. These grants can be used to develop a new project or to upscale or adapt an ongoing initiative.
The CivicTech Fund is not limited to financial support, but offers a capacity support program that will be designed and tailored to the specific needs of the selected initiatives. Support can include assistance from experienced technologists and data scientists, operational guidance, mentorship and workshop sessions.
WHAT IS CIVIC TECH?
Civic technology, or civic tech, describes technology that reinforces citizen engagement and strengthens the accountability and transparency of governance processes and public services. Effective civic technology is often the result of collaboration between civil society, public authorities and the private sector. Civic tech can also include a strong digital engagement focus, in that it uses technologies to support the functioning of public networks and platforms, citizen engagement or public interest advocacy campaigns.
POWERED BY PARTNERSHIPS
A consortium of African and European organisations is supporting the implementation of the Fund. Each organisation brings in specific expertise to the initiative, ranging from grassroots digital activism, to civic technology development and data science, policy analysis and democracy support. The consortium can ensure a presence across the African continent and leverage existing networks and partnerships.
The Fund was first conceived in the context of the Charter Project Africa, a pan-African project focused on the commitments contained in the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG). The project, implemented by the six organisations mentioned above, promotes the usage of civic technology to amplify citizen voices. It is co-funded by the European Union.
The Fund further integrates the African Union Civic Tech Fund, hosted by the African Union. Both the Charter Project Africa and the African Union Civic Tech Fund share common goals and, in particular, both emphasise the use of civic technology to improve inclusive public decision-making and strengthen democratic governance throughout Africa. The African Union Civic Tech Fund is financially supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and managed by the European Partnership for Democracy.