NGYouthSDGs at the Lagos Digital Democracy Fair 2024

In upholding our thematic focus on civic participation and active citizenship at NGYouthSDGs,  we are thrilled to have participated in Yiaga Africa’s Lagos Digital Democracy Fair on 6th March 2024. The fair took place at Civic Hive and was supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) with the aim of increasing awareness on civic engagement and leveraging technological innovations for this goal and for creating social good.

To set the tone for the fair, the welcome and opening remarks were made by Cynthia Mbamalu, the Director of Programs at Yiaga Africa. Also, goodwill messages were delivered by Kehinde Amori who represented the Lagos Mainland Local Government Chairman, Hon Omolara Essien. In Kehinde Amori’s words, he advised youths to keep being creative, commit to national development and cease from speaking ill of the government. 

Goodwill message from Magdalene Lagu, the Lead, Governance and Stability Block, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

In addition, the Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC), Lagos Headquarters, Muyiwa M. Yussuf encouraged the participants of the event to keep an open mind and be keen on relearning, learning as we move forward in the day’s agenda. Magdalene Lagu, the Lead, the Governance and Stability Block, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) also shared her thoughts of the fair’s objectives and the power of harnessing the innovative spirit of youths for national development.

Cynthia Mbamalu the Director of Programs at Yiaga Africa giving a presentation on An Overview of the Turnup Democracy Project and the Lagos Digital Democracy Fair. 

Up next, Cynthia Mbamalu presented on: An Overview of the Turnup Democracy Project and the Lagos Digital Democracy Fair. She spoke about the work, Yiaga Africa has been doing in promoting democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement, particularly through the Turnup Democracy Project which had list of impactful activities as an Independent Audit of the voter register, Local Government Area People’s Assembly in Lagos, Turnup Democracy Challenge in some Nigerian states, Democracy 101 in 5 (a virtual civic education series simplifying democratic processes), provisioning of support to Not Too Young To Run Hubs in selected tertiary institutions in Lagos State and now the Lagos Digital Democracy Fair. Cynthia also openly appreciated the support of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on the project.

A snapshot showing Opeyemi Ogundeji, Programme Manager at NGYouthSDGs and a section of participants at the fair

One of the most fascinating activities for us at the fair was the Innovation Showcase and Exhibition by the youth innovators. This session was moderated by Samuel Folorunsho (Information Technology Manager at Yiaga Africa)  and Olaniyan Sanusi (Programs Officer at Yiaga Africa). In this session, the youth innovators pitched their enterprises and gave insights to the innovative solutions they have created in decentralising, promoting and making civic engagement solutions accessible to Nigerians hence, pushing for active citizenship and effective democracy. These technological innovations were led by Nigerian youth and most of their presentations were targeted at pushing for an improved civic engagement amongst Nigerians. 

Opeyemi Ogundeji, NGYouthSDGs Programme Manager sharing feedback on one of the Innovation presentation made by a youth innovator

Some of these Innovations were:  

  • Open Projects Africa – It is a platform that democratises the procurement processes and enhances collaboration among stakeholders to achieve project deliverables. 
  • CitizenCenter – It is a not-for-profit initiative to connect elected officials and government entities directly with the constituents to provide real and official news and updates amidst the widespread fake news on social media. Available on Play Store.
  • ChatVe – It is an AI chatbot that can be integrated into WhatsApp and other platforms as a virtual assistant to educate voters.
  • AdvoKC – It is a Civic Tech platform established to help citizens engage, track and hold elected officials accountable. The platform tracks promises made by elected officials, reminds elected officials about their promises, fact-checks political statements and advocates for improved climate policies.
  • TALKAM – It is a human rights reporting mobile application and information hub which is meant to disseminate evidence-based information about different forms of human rights abuse (like human trafficking, gender-based violence, violence against children etc).
  • Citizens’ Gavel It is a not-for-profit/non-governmental organisation focused on increasing the pace of justice delivery through access to justice, digital technology and citizens’ engagement.
  • LEAP Africa and NYFF (Nigeria Youth Futures Fund) – Their mission is to strengthen, support and enable young people in Nigeria for youth leadership, activism and social change through outcome-driven policy engagements and inclusive resourcing that will support youth in shaping and supporting medium and long-term development.
  • SimpleFix Nigeria – Its aim is to name Nigerian problems whether at the local, state or national level, and proffer simple-stepped solutions without the jargon of policy or politics.
  • YiagaAfrica – They introduced ‘My Election Buddy’ which is a comprehensive voter education compendium. My Election Buddy has also been integrated into WhatsApp and verified by Meta to make civic information close to citizens’ fingertips. 


L-R: Ruhamah Ifere CPLP (the youth innovator of, Olaide Olawuwo (the youth innovator of Open Projects Africa) and Opeyemi Ogundeji (Programme Manager at NGYouthSDGs) – Ruhamah and Olaide were also once a time NGYouthSDGs Champions

There was networking among the participants and the fair ended with closing remarks from Anthonia Onda (Senior Programs Officer at Yiaga Africa). In the end, we could not agree more with the words of Kailash Satyarthi (2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner) who says “The power of youth is the commonwealth for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present, and our future. No segment in the society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm, and courage of the young people”.