The second phase of this year’s Technology in Government Awards (TIGA) in the ‘ICT in Education’ category were announced this morning at the second and last day of the sixth eLearning Africa conference in Dar es Salaam.
The announcement of the winners in “ICT in Education” category marked the culmination of the 2011 TIGA awards which had 89 entries submitted from 24 countries, from which some 44 projects were finally short-listed for the awards.
The awards, co-organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Government of Finland in collaboration with the eLearning Africa Scholarship Trust, the organizer of the eLearning Africa annual event, are given in recognition of initiatives aimed at exploiting information and communication technologies (ICTs) for education and training in Africa.
“Today we see signs that more and more ICT applications are being integrated in all sectors in Africa including in government, education, health and in the economic sectors. While the adoption of ICTs in education in Africa is on the increase, the continent still falls behind, which is why these awards are so important,” said Mr Thierry Amoussougbo, UNECA’s ICTs Science and Technology (ISTD) regional advisor while reading remarks on behalf of UNECA’s executive secretary Mr Abdoulie Janneh.
He added that it is necessary for the youth in Africa to be acquainted with the 21st century skills in order to increase the competitive advantages of Africa.
The projects that won this year’s TIGA awards in the ‘ICT in Education’ category were as follows:
1. The Speaking Book (www.sadag.co.za, www.booksofhope.com), by South Africa-based Depression and Anxiety Group which aims to make education about critical issues accessible to all regardless of literacy or education level. The solution focuses on rural, vulnerable and excluded people living in disadvantaged regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and communities around the world.
2. Dr Math (http://www.csir.co.za), also developed in South Africa, is a mobile tutoring service that provides access to credible, personal, on-demand tutoring in the subject of Mathematics.
3. eLimika (Kiswahili word for “get educated”), e-learning programme (www.elimika.ac.ke), developed by the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) in Kenya is the platform through which KIE delivers its online content and learning materials to students.
4. Plate-forme de formation à distance de l’Academia Aberta de Angola (www.academia-aberta.com) is the training platform of the Open Academy of Angola and provides a distance training space and collaborative working environment.
The first phase of the 2011 TIGA awards was held in Addis Ababa during the second session of the Committee on Development Information Science and Technology (CODIST 2) meeting on May 3 this year.
The winners were:
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 – www.efinance.com.eg.
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 the next TIGA process in 2013, UNECA is set to launch a G-Government category or Geospatial Government, which encompasses the use of the Internet and GIS in making the delivery of services more effective by governments.