Tuesday, November 11, 2003


The Development Gateway, in collaboration with two German donors has announced a €100,000 prize for leadership in the field of ICT for Development. The first prize will be awarded next year (May?), nominations are open, and information is available on the Development Gateway website.

I hope this prize will be different than some of the others I have seen, not naming names. I have seen prizes go for what I can only consider the cuteness of the project, or the likelihood that the project will attract media attention and attention from the general public.

As I see it, the key element of the Petersberg Prize will be to acknowledge a major success in the reduction of poverty through ICT. In India, for example, the four billion dollar e-government program that I mentioned in a previous posting is likely to benefit millions of people. The ten billion dollar a year that the Indian ICT industry has injected into the countries economy will have endless repercussions, similarly benefiting millions.

There are likely to be key elements contributing to such successes. Thus changes in national government policy and the example of successful e-government efforts in Andra Pradesh and other sites – now being scaled up nationwide – contributed to the e-government interest and support. The liberalization of business policies seem clearly to have contributed to the rapid growth of ICT and knowledge businesses (and I was told that the liberalization often started with ICT and then moved to other sectors.

In turn, leadership by an organization or individual was often critical to getting these key elements in place.

I hope that by recognizing such leadership, attention can be directed to the key elements that lead to major successes, and that as a result similar successes will occur in many countries.

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