Follow the Money, a Connected Development (CODE) project and Africa’s leading social accountability initiative, has launched a Pan-African campaign called the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) to effectively track spending of all COVID-19 donations in the continent.
The Chief Executive Officer of CODE, Hamzat Lawal, who made this known while interacting with journalists on Thursday said the campaign was launched in seven African countries.
Speaking to An24.net, Lawal noted that the lockdown had made tracking funds cumbersome even as the Presidential Task Force limited the access of civil societies to information about COVID-19 efforts and spendings in Nigeria.
” I have asked the Presidential Taskforce in Nigeria, who is the civil society representative on this task force. I am aware that they have a few working group but their roles are limited and their access are very limited. We have actually asked and brought forward the suggestion that a civil society representative must be on the task force of COVID-19 so that we can get timely information and get feedback from the citizens. There are series of collaborations in the civic space but there is no access to the Presidential Task Force.
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In a statement signed by CODE Communications Lead, Kevwe Oghide, the non-profit organisation highlighted activities already ongoing in Kenya, Cameroon, Gambia, Malawi, Liberia and Nigeria to hold respective governments to account. It explained that this was to ensure all interventions and funds can be put to proper use.
“The team is mobilising citizens for social change, countering fake news and misinformation while using digital tools to engage with government accountability issues. We must be alert and seek for government, agencies and institutions to be transparent and provide civil society groups and the media acting as watchdogs in this crucial time with accurate and timely information” read the statement.
The statement said that in Nigeria, “Follow The Money is mobilising over 6000 citizens on its social accountability platform, to advocate strongly for improved healthcare facilities for all. It is also building their capacity through an online radio and webinar as well as providing them with tools to monitor, drive conversation to spark actions and advocate for transparent and inclusive approach, urging government stakeholders to make public all funds released for the fight against COVID-19 and its implementation plans.”
CODE commended the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for granting debt relief to 25 African countries, and urged the World Bank, the Chinese Government and other international bodies to toe the line of the IMF .