Various institutions and initiatives were on May 2 feted during the third edition of the Technology in Government in Africa (TIGA) awards held at the opening session of the second session of the Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST II) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The TIGA awards, launched in 2007 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), are aimed to recognize outstanding achievements by organizations or teams that develop and implement innovative projects to improve online government service delivery (such as service application forms, tax payments, revenue collection, birth & death registration, other forms of government eServices, etc.); with a specific focus on citizens or businesses as clients of government.
The prizes are awarded in three levels – national, provincial and local.
The awards are given in four categories – public service delivery to citizens/communities; improved health services through the use of ICTs; improved educational services through the use of ICTs and Public Private Partnership (PPP) in economic and financial eServices delivery.
During this year’s awards, the various category winners were as follows:
Public Service Delivery: eSoko project – www.esoko.gov.rw – (Rwanda); Government Online Centre for Enhanced Public Service Delivery – www.gov.mu – (Mauritius) with Free and Open Access to Public Legal Information in Kenya – www.kenyalaw.org – (Kenya) emerging the overall category winner.
ICTs in Health: mPedigree’s Kenya National Medicine Quality System – www.mPedigree.Net – Kenya; Mali’s FrontLineSMS Medic – www.pesinet.org and www.sante.gov.ml and Cameroun’s Genesis Telecare – www.genesistelecare.com.
Economic and Financial Services: eTrade Africa – www.etradeafrica.com – from Senegal; Federal Road Safety Corps (Drivers License portal) – www.swglobal.com – from Nigeria and Online Registration and Placement Software – www.mcit.gov.et – from Ethiopia.
Honourable mentions were given to: Computer Games for HIV/AIDS prevention in Ugandan Schools – www.cs.joensu.fi – from Uganda; Planning and Reporting Database for Local Authorities (PlanRep) – from Tanzania; Ghana’s National Switch and SmartCard – www.ghipss.com and Egypt’s National Payment Gateway – .
Speaking at the award’s ceremony, UNECA’s executive director Abdoulie Janneh said that category winners for improved educational services through the use of ICTs would be announced at the Education and Training (eLearning Africa) conference scheduled for May 25 to 27 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Janneh noted that there has continually been an increase in the number of entries to the TIGA awards since it launch, saying that in 2007, there were 36 entries from 17 countries, with the number increasing to 60 entries from 20 countries in 2009.
“The 2011 edition of the awards attracted 89 entries from 24 countries, with over 44 projects being short-listed for the awards, indicating a 40 per cent increase in the number of entries,” said Janneh.
He announced that UNECA would launch an G-Government or Geospatial Government category during the next TIGA awards in 2013.