African entries take up 14.1% of WSIS Prizes 2017 finalist slots, winners to be named on June 13


The ITU has announced the list of 90 Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) initiatives from around the world competing for prestigious WSIS Prizes 2017, from which will emerge one top Winner and four Champions in each of the 18 prize categories.

These 18 category Winners will be announced and presented with their awards, and Champions honoured, on June 13, 2017 at the WSIS Prizes 2017 ceremony to be held at the Geneva International Conference Centre during WSIS Forum 2017. WSIS Prizes honour outstanding projects that leverage the power of ICT to accelerate socio-economic development around the globe.

“It is a great privilege for ITU to announce the top 90 outstanding ICT for development initiatives being recognized at this year’s WSIS Forum,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “These initiatives represent the best-of-the-best of efforts being made right now all around the globe to leverage the capacities of ICTs to improve livelihoods worldwide.”

A total of 1.1 million votes were cast from March 30 to April 30, 2017 in the online voting process that resulted in these 90 exceptional ICT initiatives being selected for the sixth edition of the WSIS Prize contest. Voters selected from a list of 345 ICT success stories nominated through a comprehensive review by the WSIS Prizes Expert Group from 467 submitted projects.

More than 60,000 new members of the WSIS stakeholder community voted this year, and with this, ITU is proud to announce that the WSIS Stocktaking Platform has increased to 300,000 registered stakeholders. This sets a new high for the level of global multi-stakeholder engagement, and implementation of WSIS Action Lines in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The WSIS Prizes contest is open to all stakeholders: governments, businesses, civil society, international organizations, academia and others. The contest comprises 18 categories directly linked to the WSIS Action Lines outlined in the Geneva Plan of Action. This year’s final list of 345 nominated projects represented a wide range of stakeholders.

This includes, by region: 49 from Africa (14.1%), 45 from the Americas (12.9%), 78 from the Arab region (22.4%), 88 from Asia and the Pacific (25.3%), 41 from the CIS (11.8%), 42 from Europe (12.1%), and five international projects (1.4%); and by sector: 145 from governments (41.7%), 78 from businesses (22.4%),  56 from civil society (16.1%), 22 from international organizations (6.3%.), and 47 from other entities (13.5%).

A full list of this year’s WSIS Prizes Champions are available on the WSIS Prizes 2017 website.