African startups among winners in Making All Voices Count competition

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Startups from Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa have been named among the winners of the Making All Voices Count 2015 Global Innovation Competition.

Making All Voices Count, an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia, runs the competition each year, calling for innovative ideas to promote transparency, fight corruption, empower marginalised groups.

Over the last six months, ten selected teams had their ideas reviewed by the public, by each other, and by the Making All Voices Count team. Last week, during Global Innovation Week, they pitched their solutions to a jury.

BudgIT, which gives Nigerians access to and information on government budgets, Face2Face, which tracks the experiences of people using Mozambique’s new Right to Information Law to obtain public information, and South Africa’s Citizen Justice Network were named Gold winners alongside Philippines startup Balangay and Indonesia’s A Voice for Women to Deepen Indonesian Democracy.

The five Gold winners will go on to receive grants and six months of mentoring from the programme.

Kenyan mobile messaging service Know Your Rights and Ghana’s Action Voices Project won Silver awards, and will receive further assistance from the Making All Voices Count team.

“If you’ve ever had to stand up and pitch an idea in three minutes to a room full of peers, press, a range of dignitaries and the US Ambassador – and do it in a language that is not your mother tongue – you’ll know how these finalists felt. They were nervous, but they pulled it off,” Making All Voices Count said.

The organisation said the competition brought people from all ages and all parts of the world together in a space where they can learn from each other, and hear ideas and solutions they would never otherwise engage with.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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