How ICT is Transforming Kenya’s Largest Slum

By Lilian Kaivilu

A dusty and rough road leads to Kibera informal settlements in Kenya’s capital-Nairobi. Residents here are seemingly busy, braving the day’s heat and dust to put food on the table.

In most informal settlements, crime, congestion, poor sanitation and poverty are often used as the best descriptions of life therein. Congestion is perceived as the real picture in the slums. Many perceive the informal settlements, just like Kibera, as the source of cheap labour for the city industries.

Human Needs Project in Kibera

Human Needs Project in Kibera

But on this particular afternoon, CIPESA-ICT4Democracy in East Africa Media Fellow, Lilian Kaivilu, discovers another side of Kibera; a beautiful, tidy, organized and developed face of Kibera that few people know about. Let us call it ‘The Other Kibera’. Here, the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is rife. One would be forgiven to believe that he or she is actually in the middle of the city.

Read more

Promoting Youth Participation in Governance Through ICT in Kenya

By Tracy Kadesa |

Kadesa

Youths have emerged at the forefront of online activism and citizen journalism in Kenya. During a December 2016 to March 2017 strike by doctors, young doctors shared their grievances online, ranging from lack of resources in government hospitals to inadequate staffing and poor compensation. One of the stories was that of Dr. Ouma Oluga, the secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, who shared how he had to perform a caesarean section using a torch on his mobile phone due to a power outage. He was only 27 at the time.

Read more

CIPESA Engages Ugandan Members of Parliament on Implementation of Access to Information Law

By Loyce Kyogabirwe |

MPs July meeting 2017

It is 12 years since Uganda passed an access to information law with the purpose of promoting transparency and accountability in all organs of the state by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information. The law also empowers the public to scrutinise and to participate in government decisions. However, the law has remained largely unimplemented as many Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) ignore citizens’ requests for information and rarely release information pro-actively, which contravenes the law.

Read more

Young Social Media Enthusiasts in Kenya Trained on Internet Law and Digital Security

By Shitemi Khamadi |

BAKE pic

In 2015, Allan Wadi, became the first Kenyan to be convicted of hate speech online. At a May 2017 training on internet and the law, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge to avoid future arrest and prosecution. While he is currently facing an incitement to violence charge over a comment he made on Facebook in February 2016, he said he is now more aware of the extent of his rights and limitations with respect to the rights of others.

Read more

Youth in the Civic and Social Tech Arena in Tanzania

By Ashnah Kalemera |

Hatua project

Sandra Kitenge, a student of Mbezi High School, is determined to bridge the gender gap in technology in Tanzania. Having benefited from the Apps and Girls programme that empowers girls with computer literacy and coding-for-change skills, she sought avenues through which she could contribute to amplifying grassroots voices as part of electoral processes in Tanzania. The solution: an idea for a mobile app known as Tujibu (Swahili for “answer us”) through which grassroots communities can interact with leaders on their manifestos so they can make informed election decisions.

Read more

Showcasing Civic and Social Tech in East Africa

By Ashnah Kalemera |

Showcase series

As access to information and communication technologies (ICT) has continued to grow across Africa, so have technology-based initiatives that enable social accountability and the participation of citizens in promoting transparency and accountability in government operations.

In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, there is a growing number of government portals for public sector information (PSI) provision, responding to complaints about quality of public services or for corruption whistle-blowing, and generally making PSI more readily available, such as open data portals and budget information websites.

Read more

Government Responsiveness on ICT tools deployed: Preliminary Findings Nakuru

By Nasubo Ongoma|

We live in a digital age where most services are online, one tweet could change your life (examples). The government is not left behind and is actively using the internet to reach out to its citizens. iHub as part of the ICT4Democracy East Africanetwork, is undertaking a research project to assess government responsiveness on the ICT tools launched. Data collection is currently being carried out in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Kisumu with key informants from the government (national and county), civic society and software developers, armed with this quest, we set out to Nakuru county. It is worth mentioning that it is campaign season, with the uncertainty of the return of the incumbent governor, we reached out to the staff of the ministry of ICT in the county, but they did not show. We are still trying to get an interview with them.

Read more

Bloggers to benefit from digital security & internet freedoms training

By Shitemi Khamadi |

Bloggers are poised to get legal knowledge on what laws can be used to charge them, thanks to a training hosted by the Bloggers Association of Kenya. The training to be held in Nairobi and Kisumu will see bloggers gain knowledge on what not to post, the rights of arrested persons and the legal framework governing the internet.

Digital&LawTrainingNairobi

“We are heading into the elections yet many bloggers and Kenyans online do not know which sections of the law anyone can use to charge them. This training will improve their knowledge on this critical issue”, said James Wamathai, a Director at BAKE. Read more

Government’s Digital Transformation

 By Nasubo Ongoma |
 
The Kenyan government is at the forefront of embracing digital technologies, with the adoption of ICTs for efficient and timely service delivery. For example, ecitizenMyGovNexus (hardly updated), active social media pages (ImmigrationKRAHuduma) and the most recent web portal, Delivery.This year, we are studying the dynamics of government communication with citizens on the ICT tools launched, specifically, the response mechanisms.

Read more

What Must Change?” For More Gender Equality Online

Storify |

ICT Gender equality

This International Women’s Month, we reflect on what presently shapes women’s participation in the online arena. On International Women’s Day, 8 March, we hosted Akina Mama Wa Afrika, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Connecting Voices of Citizens (CVC) and the Ask Your Government (Uganda) online portal in an online Twitter chat during which we asked “What must change?” to enable a more inclusive online community which recognises gender equity.

See some highlights from the chat here

Next Page →