David Lemayian is a software developer, technology advisor, and mission-driven entrepreneur with experience building teams, tools, and platforms. He helped kickstart Code for Africa (CfA), the continent’s largest network of open data and civic technology labs, and until recently served as its Chief Technologist / CTO and Executive Director. David continues to use his experience in web technologies, mobile applications, artificial intelligence, digital security, and Internet of Things(IoT) to support organisations, non-profits, and governments to execute on their technology and data strategies.
David has also previously been awarded the prestigious Knight International Journalism Fellowship, with the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), to provide thought-leadership and guidance to teams of software and hardware engineers in eight countries building "digital backbone" infrastructure that has changed the way citizens and civic watchdogs interact with governments and companies.
Notable data liberation projects that David has spearheaded include the continent’s largest civic data repository, openAFRICA.net, as well as the continent’s largest collection of investigative evidence and leaked documents, sourceAFRICA.net.
David has also helped the World Bank and Ministry of Treasury refine the software architecture of the open-contracting e-Promis platform in Kenya, and built the GotToVote (GtV) toolkit that has been used in 5 countries to help citizens register to vote. Malawi authorities used GtV to unmask over 40,000 ghost voters, while Ghanian officials used it to help consolidate their registration centres and voters’ roll. In Kenya, over 1 million voters used the GtV tool embedded within newsrooms to confirm their registration details.
In addition to CfA’s engineering team, David led the digital security lab for CfA’s African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR). The lab helps newsrooms and investigative NGOs deploy digital tools such as afriLEAKS to safely communicate with whistleblowers, SHIELD to protect against cyberattacks, and OUTLINE to protect against snooping by intel agencies and organised crime.
ANCIR and CfA use the technologies built under David’s leadership to spearhead major transnational investigations, including the 1yr secret phase of the #PanamaPapers investigation into illicit finances and offshore proxy companies, and an ambitious investigation that tracked the Italian mafia’s assets across Africa.