Action for transparency (A4T) is the name of a new application for Smartphones that could contribute to the stabilization of public finances in Uganda.
« In many governmental institutions, there is a lack of transparency on the assigned and used funds. The absence of transparency daily affects our education« , denounced Douglas Buule, teacher at the Kiwenda primary school, outside the Ugandan capital town, Kampala.
According to the explanations of Moses Karatunga in charge of the program of anti-corruption Transparency International (TI) NGO for Uganda, this application, at test for the time being in three Ugandan districts, gives information to population about supposed funds assigned to health or schools centers near them.
« If they notice that they do not correspond to the effective expenses, if for example some money is assigned to the purchase of an ambulance that nobody ever sees arriving, they can press on the alert key of the application and send a message on the web site of A4T or its Facebook page« , underlined M Karatunga.
He supports that « information is then forwarded to the concerned authorities: police, ministry, etc. »
According to TI, partner of the project with Fojo Media Institute of the Swedish University Linnaeus, the Ugandan Media Development Foundation (UMDF) and the African Center for Media Excellence (ACME), the corruption phenomenon aggravated again last year in Uganda.
For Gerald Businge, coordinator of the project, Ugandans do not yet dare to really denounce corruption cases.
« They think it could fall back on them. There is also the fear of denouncing things that nobody seriously works on« , he added.
« When people know that they are kept under surveillance, they may less waste or misappropriate money« , estimated Mr. Businge.
The persons in charge of the A4T project chose to develop a phone application because « numerous Ugandans have mobile phones« , at least one in a family, indicated Mr. Businge.
« We tell people that their phone can allow them to do much more than what they have been already doing with it« , he says finally.
Original text by: Blaise AKAME