APPLICATION DEADLINE: 28TH FEBRUARY, 2021
Thank you for your interest in the U.S. – Africa Tech Challenge to showcase technologies to counter propaganda and disinformation, supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center (GEC), in partnership with U.S. Embassy Nairobi, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Twitter, Park Advisors, and Informa.
PURPOSEThe purpose of the U.S. – Africa Tech Challenge is to advance the development of promising technologies that offer innovative solutions to help expose, understand, or counter propaganda and disinformation within Africa. As such the event aims to accomplish the following objectives:
Identify and financially support the most promising technology to accelerate its progress in identifying, exposing or countering disinformation and propaganda and to measure the technology’s impact over time.
Facilitate ongoing, constructive engagement between the U.S. government and African governments, technology companies, media, civil society, and other stakeholders that increases collaboration and results in exposing and defending against adversarial disinformation and propaganda across the continent.
For examples of the types of challenges and use cases the U.S. – Africa Tech Challenge aims to address, please see the following:
The spread of inauthentic and false information around key events like elections
The spread of false information around public health topics, including COVID-19
The spread of manipulated information pushed by state actors like Russia, China, or Iran
The sharing of propaganda developed by non-state actors like al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS, and others
The spread of false, manipulated, and inflammatory information about specific social groups (e.g. on the basis of ethnicity or religion)
Identification/tracking of inauthentic account creation methods (specifically for mobile versions of popular social media platforms)
Raising awareness of disinformation and developing approaches to counter it.
APPROACHPhase I of the Challenge provides an opportunity for organizations to submit an application on their technology to be reviewed by a panel of evaluators who will select up to eight participants. The eight selected participants will be invited to present their tool at a virtual technology demonstration in April 2021. Up to three participants will be chosen to receive an award between 50,000-250,000 USD.
Phase II of the Challenge will be held virtually on the margins of Informa’s East Africa Com on 11-12 May 2021. It will consist of virtual panel discussions and networking with technologists, governments, civil society, and media to share lessons learned and opportunities around countering disinformation. The eight participants from Phase I will all be invited to Phase II.
Given that the Tech Challenge is focused on the African continent, this call for submissions is only open to companies domiciled and headquartered in Africa.
The U.S. – Africa Tech
be given lower consideration than those ready for immediate use.