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Monday, May 30, 2011

South Africa tops TIGA awards’11

South Africa has topped the 2011 edition of the Technology in Government Awards (TIGA) in the ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education’ category.

The awards announced at the just concluded eLearning Africa, at its 6th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training, held in Mlimani City Conference Centre, Dares Salaam, Tanzania.

ITRealms Online recalls that for the first entries to the award in 2007, there were 36 TIGA entries from 17 countries. Two years later, there were 60 entries from 20 countries in 2009.

This year, 89 entries were received from 24 countries, with over 44 projects short-listed for the awards.

This, industry watchers said, that in general saw an increase of over 40 per cent in the number of entries received with every subsequent TIGA award.

In addition, they said, this suggests significant interest and increased use of ICT in delivery of innovative services to the people by African governments.

As stated by a press statement from the Information and Communication Service of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) made available to ITRealms Online; ECA, the co-organiser of the event and the Government of Finland in collaboration with the eLearning Africa Scholarship Trust, the organizer of the eLearning Africa annual event.

The awards are given in recognition of initiatives aimed at exploiting information and communication technologies (ICTs) for education and training in Africa.

It was also gathered that during the next TIGA process in 2013, ECA will be launching 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.

This year’s 2011 awards in the ‘ICT in Education’ category saw The Speaking Book and Dr. Match both from South Africa topping the list of awardees, while eLimika and Plate-forme de formation from Angola followed.

The Speaking Book: This project aims to make education about critical issues accessible to all regardless of literacy or education level. This ‘world first’ is created by South Africans for Africans and focuses on rural, vulnerable and excluded people living in disadvantaged regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and communities around the world.

Improving health care is a top priority for Africa and through the Speaking Books (http://www.sadag.co.za, www.booksofhope.com), access to essential medical information for low literacy, rural, and vulnerable Africans is improved.

Dr Math, South Africa - Dr. Math (http://www.csir.co.za) is a mobile tutoring service that provides access to credible, personal, on-demand tutoring in the subject of Mathematics.

eLimika e-learning programme, KENYA ? eLimika (http://www.elimika.ac.ke), which is a Kiswahili word for “get educated”, is the vehicle through which Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) delivers its courses.

Plate-forme de formation à distance de l’Academia Aberta de Angola: Formation partout et à tout moment!, ANGOLA (www.academia-aberta.com) is the training platform of the Open Academy of Angola 2 and provides a distance training space and collaborative working environment.

In remarks, ECA’s Executive Secretary and UN Under-Secretary-General, Mr Abdoulie Janneh, who was represented at the event, said, “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.”

He, however, noted that whilst the adoption of ICTs in education in Africa is on the increase, “it is a fact that the continent still falls behind, which is why these awards are so important.” He added, “It is indeed necessary for the youth in Africa to gain acquainted with the 21st century skills in order to increase the competitive advantages of Africa.”

Remmy Nweke:
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