Three Female Students in Rwanda Develop Anti-Corruption App

Monica Kirabo, Angela Izi Nkusi, and Odile Abimana have created ACAP to tackle local bribery and corruption.

30.09.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by TI-Rwanda
Photo by TI-Rwanda

When it feels like the world’s problems are too large to be solved, it’s worth taking the time to be inspired by the younger generation.

In Rwanda, three talented female students have come together to tackle local bribery and corruption head on with a new transparency app.

Angela Izi Nkusi, Odile Abimana and Monica Kirabo are science and technology students at Gashora Girls Academy in Kigali.

Dismayed by common instances of corruption — such as a traffic officer pulling over a friend’s father for a very minor infraction and demanding a bribe to make the problem go away — they’ve developed ACAP, the Anti Corruption App.

“When we heard about that kind of injustice, there was a need to have a system that holds such people accountable,” Kirabo told The New Times.

The app allows people to lodge complaints and bribery cases, so that the relevant authorities can later review them. This is important: Transparency International reports that around 75 million people pay bribes every year in Sub-Saharan Africa — either to escape punishment by the police or courts or to access basic services they desperately need.

The girls presented their idea at the Social Accountability Symposium in Kigali, alongside showcases of tools to hold governments accountable and ensure marginalised groups are not left behind.

Transparency International Rwanda said the girls “made their day,” emphasising that young people should take the lead in finding solutions to the problems facing society.

Atete Rugege, Head of Gashora Girls Academy, said she was “so proud” of her students — adding youth involvement in social accountability and nation building “is key to our continued development as a nation and continent.”

The app is similar to Kenya’s Action for Transparency, which allows citizens to compare the amount of government funding pledged to individual schools and health clinics and the amount actually spent, then report corruption cases via mobile.

Anastase Shyka, Rwanda’s Minister of Local Government, told The New Times that governments should invest in pro-people technology — adding that technology is important to “hold leaders accountable for their actions.”

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