Code for Africa is an ecosystem builder, with the goal of giving citizens actionable access to information. To do this we build teams of cross-functional experts, and incubate initiatives that catalyse civic engagement and improve governance and accessibility.
CivicSignal is CfA’s internal qualitative research arm that uses human analysis alongside natural language processing and machine learning tools, complemented by data-driven surveys and polling, to produce actionable insights into Africa’s media ecosystem, emerging civic technology sector and wider digital democracy landscape.
Data Academy spearheads training partnerships and data analysis and storytelling initiatives. It also includes CfA communities such as the WanaData women data science/storytelling network and the africanDRONE civic drone community, as well as the sensors.AFRICA sensor journalism initiative, with a network of more than 50+ newsroom and university partners across Africa. The Data Academy is also the custodian of other major CfA public infrastructure, such as the continent’s largest open data portal, open.AFRICA, and Africa’s largest census data portal, HURUMap.
The Engagement team is responsible for telling CfA’s story and keeping it accessible and engaging. They amplify the work of our experts and external project partners across Africa and communicate our shared vision of a more open, connected, and technologically empowered continent.
The iLAB works in support of the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), a CfA initiative that brings together the continent’s best muckraking newsrooms to investigate crooked politicians, organised crime and big business.
The iLAB spearheads investigations that individual ANCIR newsrooms are unable to tackle on their own. This includes forensic analysis of suspected digital influence operations and disinformation campaigns, as well as toxic content aimed at misleading citizens or triggering social discord or polarisation using hate speech or radicalisation or other techniques. The iLAB also supports partners to investigate transnational organised crime, illicit financial flows and state capture on the continent.
PesaCheck is Africa’s largest (non-profit) fact-checking initiative, with teams in 12 countries, with a further four countries (including Chad and Congo-Brazzavile) scheduled to come online by July 2021.
We currently reach over 11 million people with over 170 fact-checks per month in English, French and (most recently) Amharic and Kiswahili, with additional African languages scheduled to launch in 2021. The content is syndicated/republished into a wider network of media partners, ranging from national TV channels to real-time breaking alert services on WhatsApp.
PesaCheck is accredited by the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), and is also formally recognised as an official partner of the 3rd Party Fact Checker (3PFC) coalition underwritten by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
sensors.AFRICA is Africa’s largest network of low-cost ‘citizen science’ sensors, monitoring air quality in 5 countries, using cutting-edge experimental water sensors to detect cholera and other contaminants. Additionally, sensors.AFRICA and novel hydrophone sensors to detect illegal dynamite fishing and coral bleaching in East Africa’s oceans.
They are responsible for designing, developing, deploying and maintaining digital tools at CfA.