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Fifteen young people from nine different French-speaking countries in Africa, all with ideas and digital projects for citizen-led action, are meeting up in Paris from 20 to 25 February 2017.
For the youth of Africa, social networks, mobile media and digital applications have become tools to use in citizen action projects. In Africa, "hackathons" and other competitions for innovation are becoming increasingly popular and bring together developers, bloggers, community managers and journalists to work on projects of public interest, aimed at increasing transparency and strengthening democratic dialogue.
The growing demand for citizen oversight of public actions and the explosion in online media therefore represent an unprecedented opportunity, for young committed Africans, to innovate in the field of citizen action and tackle the challenges facing their countries.
The Citizen Connections project is aimed at identifying these young people with high potential and supporting them as they develop and continue their projects on a more professional basis. Having completed a six-week online training course in 2016, the fifteen participants are now coming to Paris between 20 and 25 February 2017 to attend workshops, meet professionals and refine their projects.
"I learnt about so many things through the online training – from the right tools to use for video editing and filming with a smartphone to the security requirements all engaged citizens need to observe.
The most important thing for me is to maintain my own freedom and independence in my project
"This is a unique experience – I have already been able to put my idea to the test, and to identify its strengths and weaknesses. During the next stage I am looking forward to getting some tips on which tools to use and how to develop my budget, but more than anything I am hoping to expand my network and share experiences."