Rwandan Students Create Anti-Corruption App

Published: 01 October 2019

1196871224 b013c58a99 n copyKigali, the capital of Rwanda (Photo: Dylan Walters, flickr)

By Jason Seter

Three Rwandan students have developed a mobile app that allows people to easily report bribery or other forms of corruption, The New Times reported Sunday.

Odile Abimana, Monica Kirabo, and Angela Izi Nkusi, young women from the Gashora Academy of Science and Technology, created ACAP, or the Anti-Corruption App, to provide an easy, accessible check on the local occurrence of bribery.

The ACAP allows local officials to review the reports. The girls said they were inspired to create the app after hearing a friend’s story about his father, who was pulled over and forced to pay a bribe despite not having committed any traffic violations. 

"When we heard about that kind of injustice, there was a need to have a system that holds such people accountable," Kirabo said, as quoted in The New Times.  

Almost 75 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have paid bribes to officials, not just to escape punishment for crimes, but also to receive basic services they would otherwise be unable to access, according to a 2015 report from Transparency International.  

But efforts to curb corruption have become more sophisticated, as other African countries have also seen the introduction of digital anti-corruption apps.

In South Africa, WhoYou™ uses fingerprint scanning to combat identity fraud, and in Kenya, the Action for Transparency App, developed by Transparency International Kenya, allows users to check the amount of money promised for the funding of schools and clinics versus the amount of funding they actually receive. 

Africa loses as much as USD 50 billion dollars to corruption each year, according to Transparency International.