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Two Ugandans Win in the Youth Innovation Challenge on Democracy and Governance in Africa

Lydia Matte and Simon Peter Kaweesi presented innovations that support efforts aimed at promoting prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa.

The African Governance Architecture (AGA) has released the list of the Top 20 selected winners of the Youth Innovation Challenge on Democracy and Governance in Africa. On the list include two Ugandans, Lydia Matte and Simon Peter Kaweesi.

The innovators were selected from a pool of submissions by the youth from across Africa and in the diaspora, focused on digital or non-digital innovations that address issues of democracy deficit, lack of good governance and the promotion of human rights practices in Africa.

The Top 20 young African innovators will benefit from an accelerator training programme with experienced trainers and experts, to help develop their ideas further for replication and/or scale-up. The training will be followed by the final process to identify the top innovations that will receive the top recognition awards.

The Head of the AGA Secretariat, Amb. Salah Hammad expressed enthusiasm on the talents and the capabilities in the area of democracy and good governance, noting that the innovation challenge, undertaken in collaboration with the Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), is a testimony of the demographic dividend of Africa’s greatest asset, the youth that should be encouraged and supported with the right investments.

“The quality and number of applications we received from our young innovators is quite laudable. It has demonstrated the boldness, creativity and the aspiration of young people to drive the socio-economic transformation of the continent by creating platforms for change,” he stated.

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Hammad further added that as AGA and the African Union as a whole, are delighted to showcase and support these Top 20 innovators, innovation hubs and incubation centers from across the continent led by the youth who have proven that democracy, and good governance is attainable from a bottom-top and all-inclusive approach.

“We will continue supporting such innovations to realize Aspiration 3 of Agenda 2063 that envisions an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law,” said Hammad.

Matte presented the innovation SEMA  — which aims to improve transparency and accountability of public services in East Africa. They create user-centered citizen feedback tools for local public offices to give citizens a voice in evaluating these services. By presenting this data in actionable, it is easy-to-understand ways to local and national governments. Matte is the Country Director, Uganda at SEMA.

On the other hand, Kaweesi presented his innovation, he called; Careers Master Mobile, an application that supports Aspiration 6 of an Africa who is people driven relying on young people and children. It aims to provide young people with relevant career information and labor market information to support young people to embark on fulfilling career paths and contribute to the Africa we want.

Launched in August 2020, the Youth Innovation Challenge is aligned with the African Union under the theme of “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s development”. The innovation challenge supports efforts aimed at promoting prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa, while taking stock of challenges and opportunities to make peace a reality for all, rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts and human rights violations.

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