The Fund is a collaboration between two distinct initiatives: the Charter Project Africa and the African Union Civic Tech Fund.
The Charter Project Africa is a pan-African project focused on the commitments contained in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) – the central African Union policy document to advance democratic governance in African Union member states.
The project promotes the usage of civic technology to amplify citizen voices. This is achieved by providing financial resources, through grants, as well as technical resources, through know-how, to civic initiatives pursuing democracy, particularly those led by underrepresented groups. This support is delivered in eleven African Union member states – Benin, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia – as well as at regional and continental level.
The project also opens spaces for collaboration between citizens, civic initiatives and African Union policy makers, at national, regional and continental levels – with an emphasis on digital formats. A particular focus is given to the role and the mandate of the African Governance Architecture (AGA). Further, the role of the ACDEG in achieving positive change in African Union member states is monitored, analysed and promoted. Presence through a dedicated Secretariat in Addis Ababa ensures that linkages between pan-African civil society and African Union policy makers are strengthened.
The project is implemented by a consortium of six African and European organisations:
- AfricTivistes is a pan-African union of bloggers and web-activists across the continent. It promotes democratic values, human rights and good governance through digital media. In the project, it assumes a major role in civic technology and digital engagement activities.
- Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest federation of data journalism and civic technology laboratories with a presence across Africa. In the project, it leverages its expertise in digital democracy projects as well as its existing digital toolkits and will support the grantees in implementing their initiatives.
- The Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) is a regional democracy support organisation, with multiple offices across Southern Africa. In the project, it coordinates dialogue and advocacy activities at regional level and supports grantees in the region.
- The Gorée Institute is a pan-African organisation located on Gorée Island in Dakar, Senegal, supporting peace and democracy in Africa since 1992. In the project, it coordinates dialogue and advocacy activities at regional level and supports grantees in the region.
- The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) is a leading independent think tank on international cooperation, and has a long-standing work stream of policy research on Africa’s regional and continental governance initiatives. In the project, ECDPM assumes main responsibility for policy analysis & strategy development.
- The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) is a pan-continental network of European democracy support organisations, based in Brussels, Belgium. It supports democratic initiatives across the world. In the project, it is primarily responsible for the engagement vis-à-vis the AGA and acts as the consortium lead.
The African Union Civic Tech Fund is a pan-African initiative designed to contribute to achieving ambitious goals contained in the policies of the African Union (Agenda 2063 and Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa, 2020-2030). In particular, the Fund responds to the need to drive forward meaningful citizen participation in spaces of governance through the innovative use of data and digital technologies to address governance and development challenges while recognising the central importance of Africa’s youth in shaping the future of the continent.
To do so, the African Union Civic Tech Fund supports initiatives, particularly those led by or relevant to youth, that strengthen citizen engagement through the innovative use of data and digital technologies, or, in other words, that can support targeted civic technology solutions. The objective is to demonstrate effective models of citizen participation, support the scalability of initiatives, and influence policy to support replicable and/or scalable civic technology initiatives and transformative citizen-led actions across the African continent. The Fund includes a virtual accelerator program organised by AfriLabs.
The African Union Civic Tech Fund is hosted by the African Union, managed by the European Partnership for Democracy and financially supported by GIZ.