Transparency is one of the big issues we campaign on, because cracking down on corruption is essential to tackling extreme poverty. Secret dealings, illicit financial flows and any lack of accountability must be exposed like a crowing rooster exposes the sunrise.
That’s why we’re excited to hear about a new platform that’s just launched: afriLeaks. Inspired by the original concept of Wikileaks, afriLeaks allows journalists, whistle-blowers and yes even you, to leak confidential documents of public interest. But crucially, it protects your identity so you cannot be traced as the source of the information.
afriLeaks is run by an alliance of African media outlets which are committed to exposing the truth. Anyone can send documents to the media outlet of their choice, who will then proceed by investigating the document or claims. The whistleblower can then communicate with the media outlet to provide further information or answer questions, while remaining anonymous.
Do we need afriLeaks and what can it achieve?
Africa’s economies have been growing at an average of 5% over the last decade. But millions of citizens still live with hunger and without education, health facilities and social services. Tackling corruption, both globally and in Africa, will help ensure the wealth of the continent benefits the people.
Freedom of speech is still a problem in some African countries, and with the continuous crack-down on journalists and whistle-blowers, afriLeaks is so important. The Freedom House 2014 report placed five African countries in the category of “worst of the worst” in terms of allowing freedom of speech and expression. A platform like Afrileaks will help by holding people accountable for unlawful practices and acting as a deterrent to corrupt officials and businesses.
With the Arab spring uprising, followed by recent uprisings in sub-Saharan countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burkina Faso, the people of Africa have shown that they have an appetite for democratic freedom on the continent. Linking people with Afrileaks could just prove to be the turning point in cracking down on corruption and secrecy and looking towards a more transparent and accountable Africa.
We just have to wait for the rooster to start crowing.