ITU has declared 18 winners of WSIS Prizes 2016 at Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG).
Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General announced the 18 winners of the WSIS Prizes 2016 at the WSIS High-Level Opening Segment, which was held at CICG.
However, no Nigerian project was among the 18 projects that won in this year’s contest as against last year where a Nigeria project was among the winners.
The WSIS Prizes 2016 contest provides a platform to identify and showcase success stories across the 11 WSIS Action Lines defined in the Geneva Plan of Action.
The awards are conferred via an open online voting process, which this year engaged over 245,000 stakeholders from around the world.
A total of 311 projects were nominated for the 2016 contest, which marked a significant increase on the number of nominated submissions in 2015, thereby reflecting both the prestigious nature of the award and the growing importance of ICTs in national development strategies.
Going by the inclusive multi-stakeholder character of the WSIS Process, the prizes recognize the outstanding achievements of a wide range of organizations in strengthening implementation of the vision and targets set by the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 (Phase 1) and 2005 (Phase 2).
“ITU and its WSIS partners strongly believe in the critical importance of ICTs in achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.
“The WSIS Prizes recognize all players in the effort to improve global connectivity, from governments and global ICT companies to grassroots NGOs leading innovative ICT-oriented projects at the local level. All of these stakeholders are equally vital to the success of the WSIS Process,” ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said.
WSIS Project Prize winners include government departments, international organizations, private sector companies, NGOs and academia.
An innovation in the WSIS Prizes contest this year is the nomination of 70 ‘WSIS Prize Champions’. This new award category recognizes outstanding projects that were among the most-voted entries and which also received the best reviews by the members of the Expert Group.
Of these 70, 18 winners were selected to receive the coveted WSIS Prize, with the remaining projects celebrated at a special event held on Wednesday 4 May entitled: Implementing Best Practices and Addressing Challenges.
WSIS Project Prizes is an international contest developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.
The WSIS Project Prizes contest is an integral part of the WSIS stocktaking process. The contest was held for the first time in 2012, and rapidly gained attention and popularity within the ICT for Development (ICT4D) community.