The World Summit on the Information Society Forum represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The Forum serves as a key platform for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets.
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao has announced the 18 winners of WSIS Prizes 2017 at WSIS Forum 2017, which took place at the Geneva International Conference Centre. WSIS Prizes provides a platform from which to identify and showcase success stories across the 11 WSIS Action Lines defined in the Geneva Plan of Action.
The awards are conferred through an open online voting process, which this year engaged over 300,000 stakeholders from around the world, with a record number 1.1 million votes cast by WSIS stakeholders. Nearly 500 projects were submitted by the WSIS stakeholder community, by far the highest number of submissions since the annual WSIS Prizes initiative was launched six years ago. From these submissions, 345 projects were nominated for the 2017 contest, reflecting both the prestigious nature of the award and the increasing role of ICTs in development strategies.
“The rich variety of winning projects recognized by WSIS Prizes 2017 demonstrates the varied roles that ICTs can play,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “These Winners and Champions represent the most innovative and successful ICT for development initiatives around the world, and exemplify the diversity of the WSIS multi-stakeholder community.”
WSIS Prizes 2017 winners included government departments, international organizations, private sector companies, NGOs and academia. In line with the inclusive, multi-stakeholder character of the WSIS Process, the prizes recognize the outstanding achievements of a wide range of organizations. This year’s 18 Winners, in WSIS Action Lines among which there are three countries from the MENA region:
• Action Line C1 The role of government and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
Winner: Adqar’s e-safe school online safety, Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students, United Arab Emirates
• Action Line C6 Enabling environment
Winner: Egypt’s National Program for ICT Accessibility in Education for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Arab Republic of Egypt
• Action Line C7 E-learning
Winner: E-learning and Virtual Classroom System, Kuwait University, State of Kuwait