Tech Camp promotes transparency in Côte d’Ivoire

Tech Camp trainer teaches visual storytelling

ABIDJAN – “Our goal for this technology camp is, not only to foster innovation and increase public engagement in governance issues, but also to create an environment for young leaders who can use these technical skills to promote transparency and accountability,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Andrew Haviland.

The U.S. diplomat, speaking on July 13, 2017, at a reception for young leaders attending a regional technology camp in Abidjan, added: “You need the skills and tools to participate in the life process of society so that you know how to organize your voices in a peaceful and effective way on the wide range of issues. Representatives of the High Authority for Good Governance (HABG), Embassies of Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali took part in the reception.

Initiated by U.S. Embassy, this technological camp, which takes place from July 13 to 14 2017 in Abidjan, brings together fifty young leaders aged between 18 and 35 from four African West Countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.

Focusing on the theme “Strengthening Democracy, Governance and Transparency through Technology Information and Communication (TIC)”, helped promote innovation and increase public engagement in governance issues.  It also created an environment for young leaders using  their technical skills to promote transparency and accountability to share experience.

Mr. Haviland stressed the essential element of good governance and transparency in economic and political leadership. ” Good governance and transparency help create the basis for political stability, ensure that governments respond to the economic, political and security needs of citizens,” he said. In that perspective, he stressed the role of youth, which forms the majority of the population in the sub-region: “You must assume leadership roles in the emergence of your countries.”

He also hoped that “the participants of the technology camp will take advantage of this experience to mobilize other young leaders from their respective countries to join them in finding innovative technological solutions to address problems of transparency and increase civic commitment of youth.”

Finally, Mr. Haviland reaffirmed the commitment of the U.S. Embassy to support the digital community and in particular with the former Mandela Washington Fellowship program, to propose technological solutions to the challenges of transparency facing Côte d’Ivoire. Following this camp, the U.S. Embassy will work with members of civil society to organize a “hackathon” to develop mobile applications that will facilitate the data collection and reports on transparency and corruption.