Opaqueness in government behaviour is one of the roots of corruption. If information is made public and digestible, it is harder for people in power to get away with dishonest or immoral behaviour.
Nigerian entrepreneur Oluseun Onigbinde set up his tech startup BudgIT to help ensure that there is clarity and open public information on how the government is spending the national budget. The company creates easy-to-understand infographics for the public.
BudgIT “humanises data”, explains Onigbinde, and the infographics are tailored to different members of the society including those with basic digital literacy and those with none.
The information is all printed and distributed to focus groups so that everyday Nigerians are able to understand the issues that affect them.
“We need more social innovation in Nigeria and in Africa in general. Our problems are still very basic, in terms of education and nutrition. You know, we have a problem with unemployment, we have a problem with skills development,” says Oginbinde. “It’s time we stop thinking about snapchat and about tech innovations that we feel don’t really solve our problems. Ed tech [for example] should be a big thing in Africa.”
Oginbinde hopes that BudgIT will grow to be a policy think tank (they already create policy papers for the private sector) and aims to expand into other West African countries. He is on a social mission to use tech to keep society safer and better informed.