Message to our Community & Recap of 2020

Dear Community Members,

This important year is ending and we want to celebrate each of YOU.

2020 has been an unexpected year and together we achieved incredible results, We proved as resilient as ever, collectively facing the global crisis as an opportunity to re-imagine what we can do for our communities and for the continent if we act collectively.

We are thankful to have you and to work with all of you!!

Thankful for the values we share, thankful for the co-creation we engage in, thankful for your commitment and availability to do good, thankful for the trust in that each of us can bring positive change and that through collective action we can support our communities and our governments and  improve our societies. 

Strengthened by the gratitude to work with such an amazing community, our team has worked very hard building upon our collective efforts to create more opportunities  for positive change. 

As the year is ending, we want to celebrate with you our collective achievements, this is going to be quite a read, so sit back and enjoy!

More than ever the Future is co-created!

With all our love,

The i4Policy Team


At the surge of Covid 19, we, launched #dontgoviral, a campaign to activate artists to translate public health information and solidarity messages into creative content.  We had local artists producing content adapted to their communities in local languages, as well as international artists endorsing the campaign and donating their content to the cause. (Bobi WineDidier Awadi & Youssou N’DourSeun kuti & les Freres SmithPrésident George WeahMarkus Miller). The Campaign activated hundreds of artists across 45 African countries, and reached over 250 million people on social media alone !

The pan-African Digital Assembly

While #DontGoViral was going viral we sent you an open letter formulated by our #i4Policy taskforce to activate the community to respond to the crisis. 220 of you  joined with your organizations from 48 countries (!!!) and together we organized an incredible event, the #pan-African Digital Assembly. The #pADA brought together health experts and political, cultural and innovation leaders over three days of high-level panel discussions. In parallel, over 400 entrepreneurs from across the continent joined online roundtable discussions facilitated by community members, to co-create a shared inventory of hundreds of policy solutions for covid-19 response and recovery

The #pADA not only provided us with an invaluable resource to work with our governments on impactful policy reforms, it also sent a very strong message about the power, credibility and legitimacy of our community!

After the #pADA we offered more than 20 virtual workshops to share on co-creation frameworks on the Innovation for Policy Process Methodology, and to support members of our community from 19 countries to lead on policy reform processes at national level.

If you could not join, do not worry, we are working hard to replicate, expand and improve such opportunities next year: we seek to popularize peer-driven co-creation and enable our communities to amplify their expertise, foster change, and to expand our impact to address key topics for better societies, such as youth employment, gender equity, migration, social enterprise and climate change. 

We are already working in this direction, and we cannot wait to hear from you on how you would like to use your leadership to bring about an even bigger impact.

Serial Inspiration

We achieved a tremendous step in popularising our approaches to co-creation and civic engagement.

In Senegal, we supported youth leaders to organise  a three-month open forum involving hundreds of Senegalese youth to help their government co-create the national youth strategy. i4Policy powered this forum through advisory and civic-engagement software.

In Rwanda, we led the technical and consultative elaboration of a draft Startup Act and a Tech-Enabled Innovation Policy, and we partnered with the We, the Internet to embed a countrywide youth dialogue to address the most pressing internet governance questions into the national internet governance forum.

In Kenya we were honored to support amazing members of our community in their process to consult upon a Startup Bill. The co-created feedback-document has now reached the Senate and we cannot wait to support the ecosystem further in this important process.

In DRC, we worked with community members to co-create a Startup Act with multiple opportunities for engagement countrywide: online consultations, focus groups and a national consolidation workshop with public and private stakeholders. The reform project was finalized under the leadership of the Ministry of Middle Class and Small Businesses, which in the meantime has implemented a guarantee fund for startups and a public program of technical support and financing for SMEs.

In Libya, we recently supported a pre-hackathon session and we are supporting our community members (who are forces of nature) to strengthen the ecosystem and collaborate with the government to make laws for the entrepreneurial environment to thrive. 

In Ghana, after a collaborative nationwide series of policy hackathons together with the Ghana Hubs Network in 2019, we advised and worked hand-in-hand with ecosystem leaders and Government, and in October, a Steering Committee was launched to open up the drafting of the Ghana Startup Act.

And more: we have been working with community members to energize national processes in  Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, Tanzania,  South Africa, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Niger. Many countries are considering kickstarting policy reform processes in the coming months, with Malawi, Botswana and Eswatini jumping out.  

In the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) we brought the community members together to address regional-level challenges and to submit strong recommendations and opportunities to improve the environment for startups, assess the reforms put in place by the BCEAO, leverage the Fintech sector to create more financial inclusion, and to build relationships among the country members on entrepreneurship and innovation policy reforms.

Strengthening local coalitions: many have structured national associations of hubs and ESOs to keep working together and acting collectively, such as SAEI 226 in Burkina Faso, SIEN in Sudan , and RISAT in Togo.

Trans-Continental Influence : our Manifesto has already tangibly shaped the African Union Digital transformation Strategy 2020-2030 and more recently we were able to bring your voice to a high level panel discussion introduced by heads of state and leaders from the EU and AU to launch an important multilateral partnership on digital transformation.  Our Values and our Open Letter were read out loud during the event and we were able to express a strong stance on how much our collective communities can teach Europe and the World about innovation.

Building our evidence

Many of you joined us for the presentation of the Benchmarking Study on laws for Startups and Small Businesses in Africa. More recently, we co-created the Entrepreneurship Policy-Making Toolkit to activate the collective intelligence of researchers, policymakers and practitioners by aggregating open source research and policy guidance for policymakers to better support digital transformation and entrepreneurship.The toolkit will serve as a guide for policymakers to facilitate benchmark, assess their ecosystem and have access to clear recommendations and guidance...