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May 1, 2015 / bswitaba

Opinion: Open government (Gov 2.0)

The Open government meme has been a widespread phenomenon in the West, with governments working to promote transparency, increase civic participation in the quest to help foster accountability and fight corruption.
Government 2.0 or Gov 2.0 refers to government policies that aim to harness collaborative technologies to create an open-source computing platform in which government, citizens, and innovative companies can improve transparency and efficiency.
In Africa, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) concept is beginning to take root. Kenya, South Africa and Morocco are lauded by the World Bank as the pioneers of this emerging Open government concept.

In Kenya for instance, the passing of the Freedom of Information (FOI) act, acted as a catalyst prompting the central government to come up with the open data initiative whose aim was to promote transparency, citizen participation and accountability. These three tenets have provided an avenue for checks and balances within the state, between citizens and the state, and last but not least between citizens, the state and the private sector.

Generally, the Open government partnership has been essential in coming up with Open government innovative steps and new approaches which partner countries in Africa – Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, Tanzania, and Liberia are trying out.
Some of the key areas and issues being tackled by the open data initiative in Kenya are: Education, Elections, Budgets, Land, Public contracting, records management, and last but not least extracting industry.
For sustainable development goals, governments in Africa need to be transparent, accountable, and more responsive.
This will in turn create a citizenry that trusts and believes in their respective governments.

Gov 2.0


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