Digital participation and innovation are interdependent. The more innovation takes place in a country, the more options for digital participation are created – with one precondition: innovation must be driven by needs, not by the adoption of principles from outside the country. Wherever the needs of the population are taken into account, the opportunities for digital participation increase. In Kenya, the banking service M-Pesa was the catalyst, making urban and rural Kenyans excited about the possibilities of the Internet. The increased use of M-Pesa led to the increased use of smartphones. In the process, people gain access to other components of the digital world – new sources of information, new ways of communicating.
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer