October 27, 2010, REDWOOD CITY, Calif., and THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Omidyar Network and Hivos today announced the creation of the Africa Transparency and Technology Initiative (ATTI). It is the first fund in Africa to support the incubation of technology-driven initiatives that give citizens the tools to hold their governments to account. Omidyar Network will invest up to $2M over the next two years as part of the philanthropic investment firm’s Government Transparency investment area. Hivos, a Dutch NGO, will administer the Nairobi-based fund on Omidyar Network’s behalf.
“By identifying and making single-instance grants to small, innovative organizations across the continent, ATTI will complement Omidyar Network’s direct investments of larger, more established government transparency organizations in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Stephen King, investment partner at Omidyar Network. “Hivos’ experience and reach will be a tremendous asset to Omidyar Network, enabling us to extend the use of technology for government transparency across all of Africa.”
Through its Government Transparency investment area, Omidyar Network invests in organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process, shape outcomes important to them, and hold governments to account. Over the last two years, the firm has granted over $23M to a dozen organizations as a result of this focus. At last month’s Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Omidyar Network pledged an additional $30M over the next three years, and ATTI is the third grant against that commitment.
Hivos, the Dutch Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, wants to contribute to a fair, free and sustainable world. Together with local organizations in developing countries, Hivos strives for a world in which all citizens – both men and women – have equal access to resources and opportunities for development. The work of Hivos aims at structurally alleviating poverty, with an emphasis on civil society building and on sustainable economic development. The Hivos media programme serves to give a voice to critical and alternative views from society. Hivos operates where technology and human rights meet, and advocates protection of the privacy of online protesters and freedom of expression. For more information, please visit www.hivos.nl/eng.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $371 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, consumer Internet, mobile technology and government transparency. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.