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Johns Hopkins SAIS Team Win 2019 Africa Freedom Innovation Challenge

October 24, 2019

PolicyVault.Africa, an initiative led by Johns Hopkins SAIS alumnus Ridwan Sorunke, MA ‘19 and Timi Iwayemi, MA ‘20, is the winner of the 2019 Africa Freedom Innovation Challenge. Sorunke and Iwayemi launched the initiative in collaboration with Johns Hopkins SAIS students Zarina Bentum, MA ‘20, Christian Freymeyer, MA ’19, and Hinjat Shamil, MIPP '19.

PolicyVault.Africa is an online repository of a wide spectrum of government documents, including public policies, electoral guidelines, business regulations, laws, and investment guides in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project aims to provide access to every public policy and regulation across every sector across every country in Africa. The team has compiled over 600 policies in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda in the past few months are aggressively expanding into other countries on the continent.

Asked about their motivations, Sorunke stressed the difficulty he has faced when researching policies for both academic and professional work. He stated that in many cases, policy documents are only available in hard copies. However, an online vault will provide access to the documents, improve transparency in government, increase public awareness and will also be of great importance to open government initiatives across Africa.

Iwayemi pointed out that the platform allows people all over the world to monitor government performance. He further noted that it is a win for people of the continent because researchers, businesses, civil society organizations, and even governments can download verified and up-to-date policies.

To learn more about the project visit the website, or message the team at [email protected].