Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)
20 February 2008
Posted to the web 20 February 2008
By Stephen Odoi-Larbi
The Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Cedi Re-denomination websites have jointly won the 2007 World Summit Awards Special Mention from the Continent of Africa for the best in e-content and creativity in the e-Government category. This is the first time that Ghana has participated in the competition since the WSA started in 2003 as an initiative from Austria in the framework of the United Nations' World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Following a selection of winners, an international conference was organized in Venice, Italy during which the winners from all over the world presented their awarded projects and shared their visions on the topic of "ICT & Creativity". At the 2007 conference, Mr. Derrick-Hope Gidzi, Chief Executive Officer and George Kofi Hagan, Chief Technology Officer of Con-Imedia, designers of the Bank of Ghana and Ghana Cedi Re-denomination websites, received the award for WSA Special Mention for the best in e-government in Africa and made a presentation on the Bank of Ghana/Ghana Cedi Re-denomination websites. Dignitaries present were delighted and full of praise for the outstanding technologies implemented, which has helped to empower government, citizens and the financial sector with the tools needed to access and capture information for everyday use.
The World Summit Awards (WSA) is the world's premier contest for excellence in e-content and creativity. They honour producers of interactive multimedia and innovative ICT applications and are the only awards supported by a Public Private Partnership between professional organisations, industry, governments and UN organisations.
The winners were selected following an evaluation by the World Summit Award Grand Jury 2007, which consisted of eminent multimedia and e-Content experts from 32 countries. A total of 24,000 products were presented for consideration. The Jury evaluated 650 entries which were nominated from 160 UN countries to the Global WSA. The Jury selected the five most outstanding products in each of the eight WSA Categories as winners.
The categories for the awards are: e-Culture e-Government e-Health e-Learning e-Business e-Entertainment e-Science e-Inclusion
WSA identifies high-quality e-Content products and promotes the most outstanding achievements worldwide in collaboration with the UN Secretary-General's Global Alliance for ICT and Development, UNESCO and UNIDO. It is a global not-for-profit activity governed by a Board of world-leading multimedia experts and supported by an office at the International Center for New Media in Salzburg, Austria.
"The contest increases the market awareness for excellence in e-Content, ingenious ideas and novel solutions, thus assisting in the market-making of high-quality multimedia products. And for some producers of excellence it is the breakthrough they needed to make it both locally and internationally" says Professor Peter A. Bruck, Chairman of the WSA Board of Directors.
The participation of the Bank of Ghana/Ghana Cedi Re-denomination websites in the competition was initiated by Ms. Dorothy Gordon, the Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, who is an Eminent Expert for the WSA for Ghana and the African Spokesperson for the WSA, following a national contest in which the Bank of Ghana/Ghana Cedi Websites was adjudged the national best in e-government and creativity.
It would be recalled that the Bank of Ghana developed a website on the re-denomination exercise which was launched in April 2007. The Cedi Re-denomination website, which had a link from a re-designed Bank of Ghana website, had the various features including currency converters for converting the cedi to the Ghana Cedi and vice versa and also converting the cedi or Ghana Cedi to foreign currencies and vice versa. Another feature that was very widely patronized by the general public was the text messaging system on Areeba (now MTN), One Touch and Tigo which enabled the public to request for conversions.
The Bank of Ghana website was re-designed for better interactivity and accessibility by the general public.