|Ken Lohento, Programme Coordinator, Information
and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and in charge
of ARDYIS at CTA, collected the prestigious award
26 May 2015. Geneva, Switzerland. CTA’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project has won an international award in the 2015 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Project Prizes. After being shortlisted earlier this year, the ARDYIS entry was proclaimed winner of the e-agriculture category following a round of online voting and a review by a panel of experts of the three projects receiving the most votes.
The WSIS Forum 2015 represents the world’s largest gathering of the ICTs for Development community. The WSIS Project Prize, an award scheme set up in 2011 by the United Nations, rewards contestants for their efforts in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs. With 18 categories, the contest provides a platform to showcase success stories and models that can be easily replicated.
The CTA ARDYIS project is a group of activities aimed at increasing opportunities for youth (18–35 years) in agriculture through ICTs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and boosting their capacities in using these tools. Key activities include:
- the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) and
- the AgriHack Talent initiative, which support the development of ICTs/mobile apps and entrepreneurship in agriculture.
So far, the project’s activities have reached more than 40 ACP countries and have favoured the development of dozens of agricultural ICT prototypes (with 17 “finalist” prototypes) targeting different segments of agricultural value chains.
- A total of 296 youth agricultural blogs have been submitted to the YoBloCo Awards,
- about 4300 people are following the project on Facebook and an external evaluation found that 80% of participants have declared an increase in their professional perspectives.
- Awareness-raising activities (e-debates, workshops, information dissemination etc.) have developed youth understanding of issues relating to the use of ICTs in agriculture and favoured the creation of a great number of youth entrepreneurial initiatives.
- The Strengthening Rural Youth Employment Opportunities in ICTs and Agriculture in Southern Africa (SOFIA) project was supported in southern Africa in 2013 and other youth-focused projects are being selected for implementation after a call for proposals was launched some months ago.