How Is Technology Influencing Youth Activism and Accountable Governance

“How Is Technology Influencing Youth Activism and Accountable Governance”

written form delivery at the IMANI Africa Youth Forum


It’s glaring to every critical observer that countries with fast and consistent growth rates, enviable democracies, accountable governance and buoyant positive youth activism, have a common factor which is the effective appreciation and employment of technological innovations and versatility to their pursuits. Whilst accountable governance is the fundamental need of every human society today, youth activism can also be identified as a major policing catalyst to achieve this reality today.
Obviously the youth being the major part of the productive populace in every society, are the most affected by the kind of governance at play in the society.

It is important to note that the youth however are the major influencers in every society’s democratic process and governance where their voices are heard and they are likewise privy to resourceful information. In this light, a society without positive youthful activism is deprived of the opportunity to have a more refined democracy and accountable governance.
* Common factors which have a history of frustrating the existence and growth of youth activism include press censorship, bureaucracy and also manhunt in some cases.

In an age where Information communication technology plays a major role to expose flaws in budgetary allocations, exposing  malpractices, putting the real issues on the table and pushing for change in policies and decision making, Governments must not overlook these contributions made by the youth and must provide an enabling environment where active youth activism promotes good and accountable governance in a tech savvy society.

Technology offers the youths with innovative and multi-faceted ways to:
1. Voice out their opinions on government policies and issues of concern to their target audience through multifaceted social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc. Good examples would be the  “Bring back out Girls campaign” and many others.
2. Test government efficacy by making all elements and information associated to governance and government decisions. accessible to both the government and citizenry such as figures and technical related to public projects

3. Facilitate accountable governance in data collection and record keeping through data management systems

4. Simplify and make all elements and information associated to governance and government decisions accessible to both the government and citizenry through interactive websites and mobile applications.

Examples of How Technology is Influencing Youth Activism and Accountable Governance in Africa
BudgIT – Facilitating Social change and Development by using Technology to simplify a Country’s State/Regional and National Budget. (Subsites for other countries Ghana: , Sierra Leone: ) The website targets the urban youth, Civil Society Organizations and government institutions to:
1. Track Government approved Projects, eliminate corruption and also identify cases of abandoned government projects within their States.
2. Present abridged State and National budgets in the form of infographics, interactive application, Videos and quick data access on all government projects to enable a citizen to ask clear and relevant questions pertaining to Government spending.
3. Publish bi-annual policy document that for improving budget processes, institutions and encouraging transparency.

Social Media Tools
Using dynamism to effect Social and Political change, a lot of African Youth are resorting to Facebook, Twitter etc… to mobilize and create awareness on issues. The most popular approach to attracting attention is the use of the Hashtag, campaign creation of specific issues pertaining to the freedom of individuals and the call to address issues


Co Author’s

Jessica Agbanu : Marketing and Product Manager EDEL Technology Consulting

Ethel Cofie : CEO EDEL Technology Consulting


EDEL Technology Picks Up IT Consulting Firm of the Year Award

Last Saturday EDEL Technology consulting ( ) was adjudged this year’s Ghana Information Technology and Telecom Awards (GITTA), “IT consulting firm of the year”.

EDEL Technology Consulting is a Global brand that uses the combination of modern project management techniques, Standard software engineering and industrial strength architecture to deliver technology solutions to its clients, with projects delivered in West Africa and UK.
EDEL prides itself as one of the best in the IT industry in Africa.

The GITTA awards is the only awards in Ghana which recognizes the excellence in the ICT industry. It is the most respected awards that celebrates excellence in innovation, product development and service delivery.

EDEL Technology has array of past and current clients like the World Bank, Dalex Finance (6th Company on the Ghana Cub 100 list and Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Non-Bank Financial Institute of 2014 and Clean Team Ghana (a project funded by the Unilever)

EDEL is currently funded by USADF (United States Africa development fund) to build a micro working platform (M-ablode ) to help shape the future of work across Africa

According to the CEO of EDEL Technology Consulting, Ethel Cofie, “winning throws a challenge to us keep being the best and to improve on our services delivered to our clients”.

EDEL Technology was also recently judged one of the top 100 globally competitive companies in Ghana .

Find out how we can become a technology partner for your organization at and also request a free consultation from the EDEL Team here




Purpose (What is in it for you?)

Kodak, the company that democratized camera and disrupted an industry (at one point had 90% of market share) was left behind the digital camera revolution and is now the biggest loser in that category.


The Nokia story is similar, the one-time reigning market share holder of the mobile phone did not innovate enough to stay in business.


Startups are essential to supporting Corporates to innovate and stay ahead of the game


Take Stanbic Bank for example; they recognized the disruption of Financial Technology in Banking and hence partnered/acquired Slydepay with Dream oval


Success Stories

Aramex: Founded by Wamda Chairman Fadi Ghandour, Aramex is the region’s leading logistics company. It used its position to help startups gain access to preferential rates on shipping among other services. Moreover, the company supported entrepreneurs through mentorship, incubation, and intrapreneurship opportunities.


The Zubair Corporation: For entrepreneurs in Oman, The Zubair Corporation – a large conglomerate specializing in energy, logistics, engineering, and construction – launched an incubation center aimed at cultivating new enterprises.


DP World: The Turn8 accelerator in Dubai, created by executives at DP World. The Emirati marine terminal operator launched the accelerator in an attempt to enhance entrepreneurship in the Emirates. So far, 23 companies have benefited from Turn8’s services.


Vodafone Egypt: Like other corporates in the region – most notably Saudi telecom STC and the Middle East Broadcasting Company – Vodafone created an investment fund in Egypt designed to take equity stakes in promising startups. Unlike STC and MBC, however, the Vodafone fund is dedicated to investments in mobile and telephone ventures. Presumably, the investments are made with a mind to eventual acquisition of technology or talent.


Cisco: The American company has partnered with AMIDEAST to provide training programs to entrepreneurs. The Cisco Entrepreneurship Institute is active in Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, and Palestine.


How to start engaging

Before corporates start engaging, they need to figure out what their quid pro quo is; what they will get in exchange for the investment they are putting in.


What are the KPI’s?

  • Are you looking to make your organization more innovative and willing to take risks?
  • Looking to recast our corporate brand in the digital age? (Maybe it is for PR purposes)
  • Solve key business problems in a quicker and more cost–effective way?
  • Create awareness of new market trends and emerging technologies?


Different Ways to Engage

  1. Acquisition: some industry giants, for instance google, Cisco, Facebook etc. have grown their businesses by getting hold of startups. They do this by either investing in startups or completely acquiring them; this move helps them to get fresh expertise and new technology to support their businesses. So instead of companies going to already made companies, they can rather go to startups for fresh ideas; which in turn helps startups to grow. There seems to a proliferation of smaller companies acquiring and consolidating rather than bigger corporates acquiring startups.


  1. Collaboration: A perfect example is the ‘Unilever Foundry’, a program that promotes collaboration between corporates and startups. Unilever Foundry is a platform that Unilever uses to provide single entry for innovative startups who want to partner with them. Startups also get to apply for funding through Unilever ventures from the same program.


Unilever Foundry

As part of the three-pronged program, startups can submit ideas to the Foundry site which will host an ongoing series of projects on different themes. Successful applicants will get $50,000 and a chance to create a pilot program with a major Unilever brand. At launch, the projects on the Foundry site revolve around sustainable living, digital retail experiences, smart kitchens, and quantified self. The second main element is mentoring—startups will have access to Unilever marketers over a period of three months. And third, the Foundry is linked to the company’s existing venture capital arm, Unilever Ventures, giving strategically relevant startups in the digital marketing, mobile, content, e-commerce, analytics and data spaces, a chance at funding.


  1. Incubation/Accelerator

For startups to flourish they need to engage with each other for support and networking purposes.


Examples of Corporate-owned incubators:


Barclays Accelerators

Goal: To make investments in 10 startups developing financial services technology, in areas like digital banking, payment solutions, and securities trading platforms. On 5th April Asoriba a startup application development company from Ghana was added to the 10 startups to take part in the program for 2016.


Location: London, UK

Partner: TechStars
Coca-Cola Foundry

Goal: “Founders are given an unfair advantage through the power of Coca-Cola and the opportunity to do what most can only dream about. Coca-Cola gets early access to new, fast-growing markets and proven growth opportunities for our business.” Once the team validates its idea, Coca-Cola makes a minority equity investment. Program has no application process; founders are selected by Coca-Cola through references and the company’s network.


Location: Global/virtual

Started: 2013
Deutsche Telekom’s hub: Raum Accelerator

Goal: Provide seed funding for startups that have the potential to fundamentally transform important markets for Deutsche Telekom.  Startups receive capital to establish market traction as well as added benefits like co-working space, mentoring and introductions to Deutsche Telekom.


Partners: General Assembly and Betahaus

Location: Berlin

Started: 2012
Disney Accelerator

Goal: Back ten startups in the media and entertainment space, with up to $120,000 in funding each. Through the Disney Accelerator, select companies will again access to the range of creative expertise and resources of The Walt Disney Company to help them develop their innovative new entertainment experience and products.


Partner: TechStars

Location: Los Angeles

Started: 2014
Intel Education Accelerator

Goal: grow education start-up from their initial Angel funding and a working beta product to a transformative company that changes education for student success.” Potentially up to $100,000 in investment from Intel Capital.


Partners: GSVlabs

Location: Redwood City, Calif.

Started: 2015

Microsoft Accelerators

Goal: a global initiative empowering entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies. We work with startups at every stage of maturity to provide the tools, resources, knowledge and expertise they need to succeed.” Also promotes the use of Microsoft Azure cloud services and other Microsoft products.


Location: Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Seattle, Tel Aviv, Paris, London,

Started: 2012




Nike+ Accelerator

Goal: to host 10 companies for a three-month immersive, mentor-driven startup. The program aims to leverage the success of the Nike+ platform to support digital innovation by connecting with companies that share Nike’s commitment to help people live more active lives.

Also to Encourage companies “to use Nike+ technology to create products and services that will inspire athletes across a broad range of activity and health goals including training, coaching, gaming, data visualization and quantified self.”


Partner: TechStars

Location: Portland, OR

Started: 2013


Samsung Accelerator
Goal: “Attract entrepreneurs who “want to help us develop products and services that can become the connective tissue between our various devices — TVs, mobile phones, tablets, cameras, laptops, home theater systems, etc.” Samsung promises them “all the benefits of running a startup – fast pace, small teams, risk-taking energy – but with all the advantages of Samsung’s resources, access to our decision-makers and product roadmap, and distribution to our massive audience.”


Locations: Palo Alto, CA and New York, NY

Started: 2013


  1. Entrepreneurs in residence

Some companies have entrepreneurs in residence (EIR) programmes, in which startup founders spend some time within the offices of large corporations. This helps the larger company open up ‘innovation pathways.’ This EIR model is more popular, however, in business schools and VC firms.

Startups can be a real strategic advantage for large companies, who must investigate and assess deliberate mechanisms for engaging with entrepreneurs, advises Krisztina Holly, EIR, City of Los Angeles, and founding executive director of the Deshpande Centre for Technological Innovation at MIT.


  1. Special interest groups

Some technology areas and business models will take a long time to mature, such as smart cities powered by Internet of Things (IoT). This calls for long-term engagement by large players via forums like a Special Interest Groups (SIG). For example, TiE Bangalore has launched an IoT, SIG with large players like Intel, Cisco, Bosch and Infosys working with startups in the areas of Design for Manufacturing (DFM), testing and interoperability.


  1. Entrepreneurship networks:

Organizations whose key business model is to support startups can organize and host regular events for capacity building, mentorship between corporates, investors and startups. These events will open up new avenues for ideas generation, validation and business deals for the startups.


The 2014 GE Global Innovation Barometer survey reports that 85 percent of corporate respondents said, collaboration with startups and entrepreneurs will drive success for their organization in the future. This indicates how engaging startups can be beneficial to corporate bodies.

In summary, large companies must actively engage with startups for new ideas, shelf-ready technology and fresh talents to drive their businesses.







Creating employment and wealth by giving global business access to an on demand and scalable workforce in Africa via a mobile micro working platform named M-Ablode. A collaboration between EDEL Technology Consulting and United States African Development Fund

group of african american college students closeup

group of african american college students closeup

USADF as part of the YALI( Young African Leaders Initiative) provided grant funding for the development of the mobile based platform M-Ablodé . Ablodé  is an ewe word  spoken by the fon ewe people  originating from Ghana,Benin,Togo meaning Freedom or Independence

The problem: The African continent’s labour force will be 1 billion strong by 2040, making it the largest in the world, surpassing both China and India (McKinsey Global Institute, 2010). In Africa youth unemployment  occurs at a rate more than twice that for adults, Youth account for 60% of all African unemployed ( World Bank).

Solution: M-Ablodé is a Micro working platform that enables individuals and businesses globally to coordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. The micro workers will be based in emerging markets specifically Africa.

The Customers (Requesters) will be able to post tasks, such as content creation, image identification,  acquiring information, data input, data verification, proof-reading, translation, copy-editing, graphic design, information gathering (e.g. GPS data, Sentiment Analysis).

Telecoms giant Ericsson expects mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa will increase to 930 million by the end of 2019, making Africa the mobile first continent. This has led us to develop M-Ablodé .

M-Ablodé will be launched in June 2016. Sign up to be first to know



The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is a small but effective tool in the U.S. Government’s Foreign Assistance toolkit.

USADF is on the frontier of development, working directly with Africans on the ground to combat some of Africa’s most difficult development and foreign policy challenges with programs to increase the U.S. diplomatic and development presence in the hardest to reach areas of extreme poverty.

USADF awards small grants (up to $250,000) for technical assistance and capacity building to grassroots organizations, cooperatives and community enterprises that strengthen local institutions and achieve lasting impact. The grants help organizations create tangible benefits such as increasing or sustaining the number of jobs in a community, improving income levels, and addressing social development needs.


About EDEL Technology Consulting

EDEL Technology is a leading digital products  consultancy. We deliver software and mobile development, consulting and training services.

We are passionate about solving our clients’ problems, and we bring a fierce focus so we get the job done right, every time. By sharing our knowledge and understanding our clients’ businesses, we deliver the right results for them. The company’s reputation is built upon solving complex business problems to provide reliable and scalable business solutions.

This we achieve through a combination of:
Modern project management techniques
Standard software engineering
Industrial strength architectures

The EDEL Technologies team has diverse experience in technology solutions delivery across the continent with projects delivered in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Gambia.


Software Development, IT Consulting, Mobile Application Development, Social Media Strategy


Failed Requirements ?

Failed requirements are one of the most common reasons of failed projects.   In fact, the more of requirements are missed, the more expensive it is for organisations . EDEL Technology Consulting uses numerous methods to ensure that you as client never lose money because of incomplete requirements

The requirement gathering techniques may differ from one project to another. Some requirement gathering techniques may prove highly beneficial for you in one project but may not be as productive in the other project or for some other company. Therefore the usefulness of a technique is determined by its need and the kind of advantages it offers in a particular project. There are 10 essential requirement gathering techniques that you must be aware of in order to manage the projects in a better way and run your business successfully are:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Document Analysis
  3. Domain Analysis
  4. Interface Analysis
  5. Interview
  6. Observation
  7. Prototyping
  8. Requirements Workshop
  9. Reverse Engineering
  10. Survey

We discuss some of them below


Interviews are strong medium to collect requirements. Organization may conduct several types of interviews such as:

  • Structured (closed) interviews, where every single information to gather is decided in advance, they follow pattern and matter of discussion firmly.
  • Non-structured (open) interviews, where information to gather is not decided in advance, more flexible and less biased.
  • Oral interviews
  • Written interviews
  • One-to-one interviews which are held between two persons across the table.
  • Group interviews which are held between groups of participants. They help to uncover any missing requirement as numerous people are involved.


Organization may conduct surveys among various stakeholders by querying about their expectation and requirements from the upcoming system.


A document with pre-defined set of objective questions and respective options is handed over to all stakeholders to answer, which are collected and compiled.

A shortcoming of this technique is, if an option for some issue is not mentioned in the questionnaire, the issue might be left unattended.

Task analysis

Team of engineers and developers may analyze the operation for which the new system is required. If the client already has some software to perform certain operation, it is studied and requirements of proposed system are collected.

Domain Analysis

Every software falls into some domain category. The expert people in the domain can be a great help to analyze general and specific requirements.


An informal debate is held among various stakeholders and all their inputs are recorded for further requirements analysis.


Prototyping is building user interface without adding detail functionality for user to interpret the features of intended software product. It helps giving better idea of requirements. If there is no software installed at client’s end for developer’s reference and the client is not aware of its own requirements, the developer creates a prototype based on initially mentioned requirements. The prototype is shown to the client and the feedback is noted. The client feedback serves as an input for requirement gathering.


Team of experts visit the client’s organization or workplace. They observe the actual working of the existing installed systems. They observe the workflow at client’s end and how execution problems are dealt. The team itself draws some conclusions which aid to form requirements expected from the software.



Prototypes can be very effective at gathering feedback. Low fidelity prototypes can be used as an active listening tool. Often, when people can not articulate a particular need in the abstract, they can quickly assess if a design approach would address the need. Prototypes are most efficiently done with quick sketches of interfaces and storyboards. Prototypes are even being used as the “official requirements” in some situations.

Software Requirements Characteristics

Gathering software requirements is the foundation of the entire software development project. Hence they must be clear, correct and well-defined.

A complete Software Requirement Specifications must be:

  • Clear
  • Correct
  • Consistent
  • Coherent
  • Comprehensible
  • Modifiable
  • Verifiable
  • Prioritized
  • Unambiguous
  • Traceable
  • Credible source


CEO of EDEL Technology Consulting named Africa’s leading woman in tech 2015

IT News Africa names CEO of EDEl Technology Consulting Ethel Cofie as one of Africa’s leading women in tech 2015 alongside Funke Opeke( former CTO for MTN and Now CEO of Main One Cable)

The Full Article here


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