31 August, 2010

Tandaa Announces Winners of Kenya Government Information Portal grant

The Kenya ICT Board has just released the names of the winners of the Kenya Government Information Portal grant 2010 .The successful bidders will each receive a Grant Amount limited to a maximum of US$ 50,000 for firms and US$ 10,000 for individuals. The Tandaa symposium was conceived with the aim of generating and distribution of locally relevant digital content,the initiative grants seed money to webprenneurs with ingenious products to develop the same.

Among the winners cited at the website and their innovative projects include:

1. Octopus ICT Solutions Ltd for their 'HIV and AIDS in the workplace e-Learning Course' that will bring HIV and AIDS workplace policy to every civilian servant in the country. Starting with training for over 40,000 health workers in the first year, Octopus will develop an eLearning course that will work to sensitize civil servants on how to address HIV and AIDS at work and in their private lives. The course will help to reduce stigma and create a safe and supporting working environment for all civil servants including people living with HIV.

2. Infotrack Strategic Solutions Ltd for their 'Teacher's Portal' that will link teachers to their employers, the Kenya Teacher's Service Commission. Teachers across the country often have to travel al the way to Nairobi to access service. The portal will allow the TSC to reach teachers country-wide with services and teachers to communicate easily and effectively with the TSC. The portal will also have public facing competent allowing citizens to review information on teachers in each county.

3. iBid Labs for their 'Kenya Online Museum' project that will seek to document Kenya's history online. Through multi-media, ibid labs will capture 3 million years of Kenyan history to be distributed online and accessed from mobile phones. Inspired by over 25 museums in Kenya that host a rich history of the country, ibid started their project several years ago by extensively researching Kenya's history. The grant will give them the opportunity to realize their dream of making Kenyan history accessible to all Kenyans.( this is quite creative and will indeed rake in revenues with additional tourism interest being generated)

4. Foundation Support Services (FSS) Ltd for their 'IVR Tax Filing Solution', which will offer a voice prompted option for tax filing. The Interactive Voice Response system will allow any Kenyan with a mobile phone to fill taxes in variety of Kenyan languages. The system will help more Kenyans fallen their tax requirement. The team at FSS have a variety of experience in voice enabled technology and are passionate about making service available to all Kenyans country-wide.

5. BTI Millman Company Ltd for their 'eMazingira Software Application' - an open source application that will run on Ushahidi's crowd-sourcing platform. eMazingira will concentrate on documenting and collecting information on environmental degradation and abuse. The environment is one of Kenya's most precious resource and eMazingira will help citizens ensure that our natural resources are preserved for future generations. Citizen will be able to report environmental degradation cases to a dedicated mobile short code number and the information relayed to the relevant authorities for action. People will then be able to view reported cases and the actions being taken on an online interactive map of Kenya.

6. RiverCross Technologies Ltd for their 'EDUWEB - An education institution listing and interactive mapping portal' that will provide a comprehensive list and interactive map of all education institutions in the country allowing users to locate institutions by proximity to relevant locations. The solution seeks to integrate data already available from the Ministry of Education, as well as additional information--all accessible from a computer or mobile phone. The portal will allow students and parents to research and identify the best schools and will also the allow the public to view and analyze vital data on educational institutions.

7. JBA Advertising Co Ltd for their 'Lost and Found Project', which will collect information on the hundreds of IDs and official documents lost every day and provide an online and mobile based solution for search and retrial of lost documents. Loosing an ID can be quite a debilitating experience, and yet the document could be lying in a building or office nearby. With security and privacy in mind, JBA Advertising will build on a platform they have developed over the years to enable Kenyans to find their documents by accessing the internet or a query from their mobile phone.

Without doubt the Kenya online sphere is rapidly developing and creating avenue for creative solutions and products to develop.Our ministry of Information especially the vibrant Permanent Secretary Mr Bitange Ndemo are actively involved in harnessing and encouraging the development of local talent, products and solution.

Indeed here at 'A Nairobian Perspective Blog' we laud their efforts and congratulate the winners .It is our sincere hope that with the financial impetus much good will be accomplished and that the resources will be conscientiously utilized in the development of user friendly portals that will enhance the Afro-presence on the digital divide.

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