[Read more session reports from the WSIS Forum 2018]
This session, moderated by Mr Vladimir Stankovic, WSIS policy analyst, Strategic planning and membership department, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) presented the main results of the WSIS Prize and WSIS stocktaking processes and discussed their future vision.
Mr Malcolm Johnson, deputy secretary-general, ITU, in his opening remarks said that this was a feedback session that could help improve the WSIS Forum process. Johnson reminded those present that next year the WSIS Forum will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. According to him, the forum is a multistakeholder event, not dominated by any specific stakeholder. He said that every WSIS Forum action is linked to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and how to achieve them using technology. Johnson said that the projects that win the WSIS prize are encouraged to get more support from their government and investors. At the end of his presentation, he congratulated all the winners.
Following the opening remarks, Stankovic started his presentation in which he said that their stocktaking project started in 2004, and its main goal was to collect data about information and communication technology (ICT) projects around the world. The WSIS Prizes contest was started in 2012, with the number of submissions increasing each year. The submission phase which took place from 11 September 2017 to 10 January 2018, received almost 700 submitted entries. Among them, 492 nominated projects went through to the voting phase, leading to the selection of 90 Champions out of which 18 Winners were recognised at a ceremony that took place at the WSIS Forum 2018 High-Level Opening. He said that this year the e-government action line received the majority of the submissions, which indicates that governments recognise the importance of the WSIS Forum. Stankovic invited all the participants to take a look at their website showing the the projects and the WSIS stocktaking publications on a new geographical map, and to keep in touch with WSIS stocktaking and prizes platforms.
Ms Ilda Simao, grants programme manager, Internet Society, started by presenting the organisation, its chapters structure and Special Interests Groups (SIGs). The Internet has several fellowships and grant programmes. One of these grant programmes is Chapterthon - a global marathon, where all chapters can participate by developing a project to achieve a common goal for the development of education and the Internet. She said that when the programme was announced as a WSIS Prize Winner, all the participants that contributed around the world were very excited. In her opinion, regardless of the project size, everybody that is doing something for the good of the people or the development of their countries is making a difference. She enforced the importance of the interaction between the different projects and said that they need commitment, motivation, and time to maintain the communication among all of them.
Prof. Mustafa Abdelmalek, faculty of sciences and techniques, Essaâdi University, Tangier, started by stressing that as a Moroccan, he considered it extremely interesting to see African participation in the competition. During the past years, many international projects had been developed by students and universities with the private sector, including companies. He affirmed that it is important to keep students participating in these projects. For that, it is essential to have a platform that gathers the students together. Mustafa also aims to develop projects with other countries. He concluded by saying that Morocco will always have a platform that allows the discussion of each project developed.
By Nathalia Sautchuk Patrício