The Uganda Communications Commission has launched the 2014 edition of the ACIA Awards, which recognise innovations from local companies, groups or individuals in developing or adopting ICT.
The awards are open to a wide range of applicants – from NGOs to startups – and feature a number of different categories, namely: the Digital Content Award, the ICT for Development Award, the Service Excellence Award, the Business Excellence Award and the Young ICT Innovators award.
Prizes range from laptop computers with free internet access to US$10,000 towards the commercialisation of the innovations, with the winners announced at an awards Gala on Friday May 16, 2014.
Godfrey Mutabazi, executive director at the UCC, told a press briefing the UCC has a statutory mandate to promote research and development in ICT the sector, with the awards playing a role in fulfilling this mandate.
“ACIA was established to provide a platform to recognise outstanding innovations from local companies and individuals in the development and adoption of ICTs in Uganda,” he said.
“Since inception in 2010, ACIA has grown remarkably in prominence in terms of increased number of entries each year, quality of the submissions and glamour of the awards event.”
He said the awards had obtained a large amount of credibility through its purposeness, transparent processes and mutual benefits.
“Globally, the ICT sector is driven by innovations. Innovation is recognised as an engine for economic growth. According to the UN systems Task Team on the post-2015 UN development agenda, broadening the culture of science, technology and innovation and creation of incentives are important to the promotion of innovation in a country,” Mutabazi said.
“In Uganda, we have a lot of potential especially among our youngsters whom we need to identify, nurture and develop so as to drive innovations in our sector. As a country we should not only be net users of ICT applications developed elsewhere but also create solutions for local challenges. However, local content should not mean inferior quality. The solution, application or innovation should be scalable and adoptable to any environment.”