User seen holding an accolade before handing it over to the winners, at the 2017 ACIA at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday 27th, May 2017. (Photo Credit: @nathyjrernest)
Usher seen holding an accolade before handing it over to the winners, at the 2017 ACIA at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday 27th, May 2017. (Photo Credit: @nathyjrernest)

Following their past ACIA annual summits, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on Wednesday May, 24th 2017 kicked off their 7th annual edition of the Annual Communication Innovation Awards (ACIA); that aims to foster greater local involvement in the development and provision of innovative products, services and content in Uganda, and this has become a signature tune in Uganda’s ICT landscape and communications sector in general.

Established in 2010, the ACIA provides a platform upon which outstanding ICT innovations can be showcased and propelled to further success.

Unlike their past ACIA events, this time around the competition had a change of theme where two more activities were introduced i.e. the Smart Transport Hackathon; where Team Sonnet emerged winners walking away with USD$500, and the finally the Innovation Clinics, and then as usual, the ACIA Exhibition were great innovations and startups including prototypes were showcased.

Following the evening of Friday 27th, May 2017, one of Uganda’s leading hotels; the Kampala Serena Hotel hosted the awards gala where at the climax winners and runners-up were recognized for their outstanding innovations under the categories – Young ICT Innovators Award, Digital Content, ICT for Development (ICT4D), Service Excellence, ICT Innovation Start-Up, and Business Excellence by UCC alongside its other sponsors.

Winners were awarded with prizes including certificates, trophies, cash prizes, and post-ACIA support including incubation of their ideas and seed funding for certain categories to further development of their innovations.

Category 1:
Young ICT Innovators Award (Explorer)
This award shall recognized extraordinary application of ICTs by school students towards the reduction of the digital divide in Uganda. This may be with regard to ICT access, affordability, availability and/or it’s applicability.

  1. Overall Winners: Busenyi Parental Care
  2. Runners Up: Kabalenga Primary School

Young ICT Innovators Award (Rising Star)

  1. Overall Winners: Katikamu SDA.
  2. Runners Up: Mbarara High School.

Young ICT Innovators Award (Young Visionaries)

  1. Overall Winners: Busitema University.
  2. Runners Up: Makerere University.

Category 2:
ICT for Development Award
This award recognized the extraordinary use of ICTs to improve the livelihoods of communities by facilitating Uganda’s achievement of any of the millennium development goals.

  1. Overall Winners: Team M-Voucher.
  2. Runners Up: Team AADS (Automatic Accidental Detection System).

Category 3:
Digital Content Award
This award recognized the outstanding compilation of text, images including video, or sound into an application or product that enhances the value and use of communication networks and services within local communities in Uganda.

  1. Overall Winners: Team Radio Basket.
  2. Runners Up: The MyChild Information Portal team.

Category 4:
Judge’s Choice Award
Team Mzee Ddiba emerged winners and the award was awarded to them by the Head Judge: Dr. Dorothy Okello.

Judges choice winning team: Team Mzee Diba.

Category 5:
Business Excellence Award
Team Intel-World who are building a cashless Uganda emerged winners. This award recognized the outstanding use of ICT by an organisation, whose core business is not ICT, but to improve the organisation’s performance efficiency, effectiveness or both.

Team Intel World.

Category 6:
Service Excellence Award
Team Snap emerged winners and their accolade was awarded to them by the Minister of ICT, and National Gudiance; Hon. Frank K Tuwembaze along side the Executive Director at UCC; Godfrey Mutabazi. This award recognized the outstanding innovative solution that eliminates barriers to ICT inclusion in Uganda.

Category 7:
ICT Innovation Startup Award
Team Blood Finder who recently participated in the 2017 MTN App Challenge, won the accolade.

Photo Credits: @nathyjrernest