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Thursday, March 23, 2006

PIWA launches new ICT contest, dangles N238,395

•For first prize

PANOS Institute of West Africa (PIWA) has launched a new media contest focusing on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as it dangles CFA 1,000,000 million, about N238,395.

The contest tagged information societies’ prize is part of PIWA’s efforts to improve media professionals understanding of issues related to ICTs, and is being organized in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) via the Centre for International ICT Policies in West and Central Africa (CIPACO), under CATIA, a programme of the British government’s Department for International Development (DfID).

The inaugural theme and modalities for 2006 stipulated that participants should submit an original article or a radio production on the keynote theme on ICT, democratic governance and development in West and Central Africa.

According to PIWA official, Aissatou Tounkara, the articles or radio production should focus specifically on one of the following issues, “mobile telephone use in social exchanges (new uses) or in developing economic activities; Implementing ICT policies in ECOWAS or CEMAC (comparative analysis on at least two countries, presentation and analysis of regional policies; and utilizing ICT to reinforce democratic governance or local governance - decentralization, administrative or public affairs management, elections and citizen watch among others.

Also to be focused upon are issues on combining the use of radio with the new information technologies, marginalized group such as women, disabled persons and youths on access to digital communication devices; and African actors engagement in regional and international ICT governance.

The organizers outlined that participants should send one or two articles or radio productions presenting an original outlook on the issues mentioned above.

This should be based on presentation and analysis of situations, activities or projects in one or several countries within the regions under review, saying that articles and radio productions published/broadcast previously could be submitted except for those that have already won awards in other competitions or those produced for PIWA.

Most importantly, articles submitted should contain between 6,000 and 9,000 characters/letters, and could be in either French or English languages.

The organizers also said that there are four prizes for grab between best articles and radio production in the contest, even as the first prize would go home with CFA 1m and invitation to the official prize-giving ceremony to take place in July, while the result would be announced on June 25, this year.

The second prize of CFA 500,000 each for print and broadcast in addition to the prize of CFA 500,000 to a special CIPACO prize on good analysis of regional or international ICT policies, even as deadline is May 18, this year.

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