Apolitical, a global policy platform, on Wednesday, August 8, announced its inaugural list of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government for 2018.
The list is the first of its kind to show the full international spread of innovative work in the field, celebrating world-beating individuals from every continent.
Public servants from all levels of government appear alongside representatives of the private and third sectors and academia appeared on the list.
Nigeria's Hamzat Lawal, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development, made the list, and was listed in the Non-profit category.
Lawal leads campaigners, activist on rural campaigns to impacts grassroots communities across Africa. Since 2012, he has led a team that has trained 1,345 community champions how to hold their government accountable and have had a direct impact on 154,223 lives.
He is also a co-convener of the Not Too Young To Run movement, a Nigerian youth movement whose support for young people's right to run for political offices ensured that an age reduction bill was passed across the country, promoting youth inclusion in Nigeria's politics.
“Everyone included has exerted outsize influence on the transition to digital governments, whether through policy making, research, advocacy or other means.
“All of them work to ensure the services government provides make full use of the opportunities offered by digital technology — while avoiding the pitfalls,” a statement from Apolitical said.
Those in the top 20 include the president of Ghana; Nana Akufo-Addo, the Mayor of Seoul; Park Won-soon and the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, France, Mounir Mahjoubi.
The individuals in the list were curated from nominations from hundreds of digital government experts from leading organisations, including 14 national digital services, The Alan Turing Institute, the OECD, the UN, Future Cities Catapult, USAID and the Open Government Partnership.
Responding, Lawal said: “I'm humbled to receive this news and recognition with so much excitements being named among the 100 World's Most Influential People in Digital Government in 2018 by Apolitical, a global network for government, helping public servants find the ideas, people and partners they need to solve the hardest challenges facing our societies.
“I dedicate this honour to people all across Africa in rural communities hoping for better service deliver and to enjoy the dividend of democracy. I also, dedicate this to all our friends and partners in the civil society space, funders, media partners, supporters and my colleagues at Follow The Money International who are dedicated innovative young people leading campaigns to foster responsive governance that delivers on the aspiration of the people.”
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Meanwhile, the Not Too Young To Run movement has lamented the lack of internal party democracy and high cost of party nomination affecting the chances of young people and persons living with disabilities ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The group made its stance known on the issue on Monday, July 30, at a press briefing in Abuja, stressing that the situation “continually undermines the emergence of youth (men and women) candidates in the 2019 general elections.”
“We remain resolute in our belief that increased representation of young men and women and persons with disability in political office will enhance the quality of democracy and governance," the group added.
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