Mr. Michael Murungi (left), the CEO/Editor of the National Council for Law Reporting (left) receives the TIGA Award Trophy from Mr. Muhammad R. Tufail, Regional Technology Officer, Microsoft Asia (right).
The National Council for Law Reporting (NCLR) has won the prestigious Technology in Government in Africa (TIGA) Award, 2011. The award was presented to Mr. Michael Murungi, the CEO/Editor of the NCLR at a Gala Dinner held at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 2, 2011 during the Second Meeting of the Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST-II), a committee of the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA).
The TIGA Award, which is co-sponsored by the UN-ECA and the Government of Finland, recognises African Governments’ effective use of ICTs for public service delivery as part of fulfilling ECA’s African Information Society Initiative (AISI) and the Government of Finland’s Development Cooperation Strategy on ICTs for development in Africa. The public service category of the award recognizes outstanding achievements by organisations or teams in developing and implementing innovative projects to improve online government service delivery with a specific focus on citizens or businesses as clients of government.
The NCLR’s award fell under the Public Service Delivery to Citizens/Communities (G2C) category particularly for its initiative in providing ‘Free and Open Access to Public Legal Information in Kenya’. In their citation of the NCLR, the TIGA Award Judges stated:
‘The [NCLR’s initiative] aims at recognizing the primary role of local initiatives in free publishing of their own national information; co-operating in order to achieve these goals; recognizing reciprocal advantages that obtain from access to each other’s laws; helping each other and to support, within their means, other organizations that share these goals with respect to promotion of public policy conductive to the accessibility of public legal information, technical assistance, advice and training, development of open technical standards, and academic exchange of research results.’
Mr. Murungi (second from right) is joined by some members of the Kenyan delegation to CODIST-II at the United Nations Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Eng. James Rege, MP & Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Communications and Information (second left); Eng. John Kariuki, a Communications Technology Expert at the National Communications Secretariat (extreme left) and Mr. Leonard Aloo, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya (extreme right).
This year’s edition of the awards had attracted over 89 entries from 24 African countries, 44 of which had been shortlisted. The other awardees under the public service category were Rwanda’s e-Soko project and Mauritius’ Government Online Centre for Enhanced Public Service Delivery. The other award categories are ICTs in Health and Economic and Financial e-Services (G2B).
In their congratulatory remarks to the awardees, the Executive Secretary of the UN-ECA, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh; the Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia and the UN-ECA, Mr. Leo Olasvirta and the Director of ICTs, Science and Technology Division in UN-ECA, Ms. Aida Opoku-Mensah, observed that the awards had established themselves as the barometer of e-government trends in Africa and an indication of the move by African Governments to support citizens’ access to vital information. The ceremony was attended by heads and members of country delegations to CODIST-II, civil society and private sector representatives and members of the diplomatic corps.
The overall theme of CODIST-II “Innovation for Industrial Development in Africa” is aimed at exploring the extent to which African countries have harnessed the power of innovation to enhance industrial development on the continent and the extent to which industrial development has been linked to the countries innovation systems.