Call for innovation collaboration

[ Johannesburg, 1 December 2008 ] – The 10th Annual African ICT Achievers Awards, recognising contributions to the ICT industry, were held last Friday.

The awards – organised by ForgeAhead, in partnership with the Department of Communications, the State IT Agency and EOH – recognise companies and individuals who have had a significant impact on the ICT industry in Africa.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, ForgeAhead MD Jane Mosebi called for increased collaboration across the continent, saying: “We need more collaboration in innovation to inspire youth and enhance the quality of life of people.

“Economic growth rates in Africa haven’t reached global standards. We need to look towards creating a knowledge economy and become producers of ICT. We need to integrate ICT into early education and connect schools to a broadband network and maintain those structures.”

Winners in key categories were: Estelle Akofio-Sowah, MD of BusyInternet, in Ghana, who was named the top ICT businesswoman, while the award for the top ICT businessman went to Allan Cawood, CEO of Dimension Data. Former president Thabo Mbeki and Microsoft Africa chairman Cheik Modibo Diarra received lifetime achievement awards – to standing ovations from the audience.

Other awards in the individual categories included the top CIO in Africa award, which went to Peter Kahigi, CIO of the National Social Security Fund, of Uganda. The top ICT minister in Africa was jointly awarded to former minister of public service and administration Geraldine Fraser Moleketi and professor Romain Morenzi, minister in the office of the president in charge of science and technology, in Rwanda.

The top ICT educator in Africa award went to professor Johannes Cronje, dean of informatics at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. In the youth categories, Wesley Mwirigi, CEO of Sinc Studios, was named top ICT youth innovator, while Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, executive chairman of KrazyBoys Digital, won the award for the top young ICT entrepreneur.

Winners in the organisation categories included IBM Africa, which won both the top ICT company in Africa and the top company in Africa to work for awards; Netsurit, winner of the top ICT SMME; Intergr8 IT, which was named the most innovative ICT company; Computers for Schools Kenya, winner of the top civil society/NGO; and the Department of the Premier of the Western Cape, which received the award for the top ICT innovation project in Africa.