The Africa Union Civic Tech Funding for African Entrepreneurs 2022/2023
The African Union Civic Tech Fund aims to foster and support initiatives that seek to strengthen citizen engagement through innovative tools and digital technologies in Africa, Africa Union Member States.
Its mission is to demonstrate effective models in citizen participation, support scale-up of initiatives, and influence policy in support of replicable and/or scalable civic tech initiatives and citizen-led transformative action across the African continent.
The Fund will focus on the provision of grants to non-governmental organisations providing services in civic space and initiatives led by small and medium businesses with a deep civic participation objective.
There is an acute need for meaningful participation by African citizens in addressing and solving governance and development challenges across the continent.
Civic technologies (or civic tech) are digital tools that make it easier for citizens to engage with those in power. Civic tech can help strengthen democratic processes and promote inclusive decision-making. It is therefore a key vehicle through which citizen participation can be achieved.
The African Union policy context provides several entry points for civic technologies seeking to increase participation. Africa’s Agenda 2063 and its powerful vision of Africa as a ‘global powerhouse’ is an example of such an overarching policy framework.
The Fund is a pan-African competition that aims to accelerate innovative civic tech initiatives that have the potential to lead to citizen-led transformative action across the African continent.
The overall budget available under this current call is EUR 160 750. The financial support to be awarded to each initiative will range from EUR 10 000 to EUR 20 000 over an implementation period of six months.
Recipients must be able to enter a service contract agreement (as opposed to a grant agreement). Additional rounds of funding will follow in the future.
Aside from the financial support, the Fund will provide selected initiatives with additional technical support according to their identified needs.
In sum, the support package looks as follows:
- Financial support
EUR 10 000 to EUR 20 000 per recipient.
- Technical support
Virtual inception/acceleration week (hosted by AfriLabs).
Provision of embedded technical expertise through the engagement of civic tech specialists
- Thematic support
Provision of thematic expertise on democracy support, African Union governance & continental policy-making
- Marketing, communication & showcasing support
Facilitation of access to decision-makers at the African Union level as well as the international development community.
- Peer-to-peer learning & networking
Facilitation of exchange between recipients and other members of related civic tech ecosystems.
Initiatives should therefore provide innovative solutions to solve problems of citizen
participation, across a number of relevant areas:
Participation in public space & public discourse;
Electoral cycles and elections;
Rule of law & orderly transfers of power between governments;
Democratic culture and political pluralism;
Responsive, transparent and accountable governance;
Peace and security (where it impacts democratic governance);
Human, economic and sustainable development (where it impacts democratic governance)
Prospective applicants need to pay close attention to the following eligibility criteria that determine whether they can be considered.
The following eligibility criteria exists for recipients:
The organisation must be a legal entity;
The organisation must be registered in an African Union Member State;
The organisation must be able to sign a service contract agreement (as opposed
to a grant contract agreement);
The organisation must not be bankrupt or being wound up nor having its affairs administered by the courts;
The organisation must not have received an adverse audit opinion, either by its own auditors or its donors’ auditors;
The organisation must have policies in place and/or practices in place to guarantee the ethical management of personal identifiable information;
The organisation must not have been the subject of a judgment for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation or any other illegal activity
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