Citizen Connections
Citizen Connections


To enhance the skills of committed young African citizens
To support them in bringing their projects to fruition
To establish a community of young leaders based on shared values and practices
500 K
15Trained professionnals

A project

Supported by

In partnership with


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.

As access to the Internet becomes more widespread, in particular via mobile devices, the relationship between African citizens and their public administrations is also undergoing a transformation. Some countries have already taken the first steps towards opening up public information (open data).

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. In order for them to make the most of their role as agents of change, 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.

Files to download

Citizen Connections

Project beneficiaries

15 young Africans with innovative ideas relating to citizenship

Project manager
Émilie Bergouignan


Online activities and final selection

The project will begin with a 6-week online session for 30 participants selected following the call for applications. These online activities will in particular tackle issues relating to project positioning, collaboration, pitching and mobilisation.

This first stage will allow the Citizen Connections trainers to assess each participant's motivations and their ability to work as part of a team, in order to help them to select the 15 people who will continue with the programme.

Citizen Connections: be a part of change!

August 3, 2016

Citizen Connections: the selected applicants

September 20, 2016

Citizen Connections: the 15 Winners

December 13, 2016

Intensive inaugural session in Paris

During a stay in Paris, 15 participants will continue the training. They will benefit from topic-based workshops, led by experts, relating to the democratic, digital, community, media and business challenges facing citizen projects.
They will also learn about different methodologies and project management tools.

Citizen Connections comes to Paris

February 22, 2017

Bush camps near Dakar and Abidjan

On these bush camps, the participants will be taken to a rural area with no Internet access for two days, in order to find – together – concrete solutions to the problems identified in a basic community and obtain user feedback in relation to their individual projects, helping them to optimise their approach.

5 key lessons learned from a social initiative in a rural area

April 22, 2017

How can we involve citizens from remote areas in a digital project?

July 29, 2017

Online and community activities

Alongside the high-intensity Paris kick-starter meeting and the bush camps, online activity sessions will also be provided. The participants will be encouraged to discuss ideas amongst themselves, and with the trainers, via video chats throughout the project.

Final seminar in Paris

The final seminar is aimed at giving the projects a final boost. Over the course of a 4-day "hackathon", the participants will be given personalised support according to their needs and will have the opportunity to receive targeted advice from a team of expert mentors. The last day will be set aside for a competition.
A panel will assess the pitches of the 15 participants and award prizes to the most convincing projects.

Citizen Connections: last meeting in Paris

September 18, 2017

Mon Élu: strengthening dialogue between citizens and elected officials by using new technologies

September 19, 2017

Limegbié: allowing women living in rural areas to have their say

September 20, 2017

Les Villageois 2.0: highlighting the benefits and dangers of information technologies

September 21, 2017

Elle Citoyenne: making the voice of African citizens heard

June 26, 2018