Ten African countries win awards for using ICT to improve public service delivery
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Addis Ababa, 4 May 2009 (ECA) – Twelve innovative projects from 10 African countries have won the 2009 Technology in Government in Africa (TIGA) awards in recognition of achievements that led to changes in the use of ICTs for public service delivery, according to an announcement last Thursday in Addis Ababa by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and its partners, the Governments of Canada and Finland.

The awards were in four categories: public service delivery to citizens or communities; improved health services through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT); improved educational services through the use of ICT; and Public Private Partnership in economic and financial e-services delivery.
The award-winning projects include “Identity Document Transformation Project”, from the Department of Home Affairs of South Africa for an innovative project that uses up-to-date biometrics technology to solve a major security problem for the country.

Botswana’sMinistry of Communications, Science and Technology was rewarded for its “Connecting Communities - Kitsong Centre” project which is a first step to enabling rural communities gain access to e-services and developing ICT culture. Other recipients included Ethiopia’s “Woreda Net” project which is connecting different layers of administration - with a focus on local administration through the provision of communications services including Internet.

In the ICT and health category, the winners were “Telemedicine Pilot Project” from the National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria, which offers a set of telemedicine functionalities in various regions through mobile units connected through satellites to central health units. Its satellite infrastructure has achieved a direct impact in detecting diseases such as malaria, and the project demonstrated a very impressive use of space-based technology for better health care.

The entry from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Egypt, “Women Healthcare Mobile Unit Project”, also won in this category. The mobile unit enables  the country to bring the competences of the national centre of excellence to the regions. Another winner was the “Implementation of data management system for the national centre of pharmacovigilance in Tunisia” which offers tools for treatment and exchange of data, allowing transmission of information from regional centers to the headquarters of the organization to be verified and grouped into a central database. 

Winners under the ICT and education category were the “e-applications - Secondary school certificate” from Sudan and the “Distance Learning Portal” from Angola. The Sudanese project facilitates the publication of certification results and the preparation of certificates, whilst the Angolan initiative helps address the issue of extending equal opportunity to all citizens by democratizing access to education through ICTs.

In the fourth category - PPP in economic and financial eServices delivery – the winners were “On-line trade procedures:  Tunisia Trade Net” and “Chams Partnership with Osun State Government on Implementation of Enterprise Government e-Portal” from Nigeria. The Tunisian project facilitates import and export procedures for various actors, such as customs, insurance, banks, etc., while the project from Nigeria uses an innovative approach to reach out to rural areas of the nation and bring them into the digital world.

Two projects were selected under the Judges Award category. These are the "Mozambique Government Portal", and “On-line information services for users and collaborative portal for health professionals” from Mali.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Finland’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mrs. Kirsti Aarnio, said it was time for Africa to show how it is using technology to promote socio-economic development and how this process can be supported in meaningful ways. She said the work of ECA was “of crucial importance in bringing together stakeholders from North and South for the creation of true global knowledge society in advancement of development”.

ECA's Executive Secretary, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, said that “although a lot still remains to be done in Africa, we are all witnessing an encouraging and increasing level of awareness on Information Society issues at various levels in Africa”. Ms. Therése Poinet, First Secretary of Embassy of Canada, in her speech re-affirmed her government’s commitment to supporting information society development in Africa.

The 2009 TIGA Awards was organized and supported by the governments of Finland and Canada, and sponsored by Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), Ethiopian Airlines, Microsoft, Alcatel Lucent, Jupiter Hotel, and Harmony Hotel and the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation.
 
The event took place during the first session of the Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST-1) meeting held from 28 April – 1 May 2009.

Full list and description of winning projects and more on TIGA is available at: http://www.uneca.org/tiga

 

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© 2012 Economic Commission for Africa