Three students in Rwanda have developed an anti-corruption application that can help fight the menace in their country and beyond.
The three Monica Kirabo, Angela Izi Nkusi, and Odile Abimana came up with an idea to develop the application after they heard about a story of bribery that involved an innocent victim and a policeman.
The three young ladies are students of Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology. Two years ago, a friend told them the story of his father and how a policeman asked a bribe from him.
“The father was driving before the policeman stopped him that he had violated traffic rules. He was asked to pay a bribe to be let go,” Odile Abimana narrated
In the real sense, she adds, the father had not committed any offense nor had he violated any rules.
“When we heard about that kind of injustice, there was a need to have a system that holds such people accountable,” Kirabo says.
The three sciences and technology students came together and decided to design an application which they called ACAP – Anti Corruption App.
It enables one to lodge claims and bribery cases through a mobile application, which then can be reviewed by concerned officials.
According to Izi Nkusi, one of the young developers, their idea is to save the nation by enabling citizens to access justice.
They plan to partner with relevant authorities to make the platform work for people.
During this week’s Social Accountability Symposium which took place in Kigali, experts indicated that it is such platforms that will accelerate the level at which citizens can hold their leaders, politicians and service providers accountable.
According to Transparency International, nearly 75 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to have paid a bribe in the past year – some to escape punishment by the police or courts, but many forced to pay to get access to the basic services that they desperately need.
In Kenya, mobile applications are already facilitating citizens to report cases. For instance, Transparency International Kenya developed the Action for Transparency App (A4T App), an application that empowers citizens to report corruption cases through their mobile phones.
Basically, by using a mobile phone with Internet access, anyone is able to check the amount of government money pledged to each school and health clinic – and the amount actually spent.