July 19, 2011, LAGOS, Nigeria — Omidyar Network announced today a new two-year, US$5million commitment to fund organizations that foster government transparency and accountability in Africa. The ‘My Voice, Our Community’ campaign will invest in innovative organizations that use technology to give citizens a voice in their community by connecting individuals to information and others who share their interests, and by providing them the tools to influence issues that impact their lives. Impact investments and grants will be made to for-profit and nonprofit organizations based in Africa or that are dedicated to serving the needs of Africans. Omidyar Network Investment Partner Stephen King made the announcement in Lagos while participating in the British Prime Minister’s business delegation to Africa.
"When citizens engage in the issues that affect them, they can help to ensure that power and public funds are used wisely and are representative of their interests. ‘My Voice, Our Community’ recognizes that meaningful participation happens only when one has access to information and the ability to share and connect with others in the community," said King. "The campaign is meant to encourage and support entrepreneurs from all sectors who want to play their part in helping bring about positive social change."
Through its Government Transparency initiative, Omidyar Network invests in innovative organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process and hold governments to account. Over the last two years, the firm has invested over $30M to government transparency efforts across the globe, including organizations in Africa such as: Ushahidi, FrontlineSMS, Africa Media Initiative, Praekelt Foundation, Infonet, Sahara Reporters, Enough is Enough Nigeria and the Africa Transparency and Technology Initiative.