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Apply for the Fire Africa Awards 2017 for ICT entreprenuers

Africa digital

The Fund for Internet Research and Development (FIRE) Africa Awards seek to acknowledge innovative initiatives in Africa that have made concrete contributions through the use of information and communications technologies and have had a proven impact on the region’s social and economic development.

Winning initiatives must meet three main requirements. All project proposals must have a technological component through which they seek to solve development issues. Proposed solutions must be innovative, i.e., they must present new strategies, notions, ideas, methods and processes that respond to social needs and can broaden and strengthen communities. Finally, successful initiatives must have a proven impact, i.e., they must submit indicators and evidence that support the creation of value for the target communities.

The funding categories for 2017 Awards are:

  1. Internet development. Network operation, accelerating and expanding access, devices, infrastructure, the Internet of Things, IPv6 deployment, security, development of open standards, Internet Governance, and regulations for expanding and accelerating access. Innovative solutions offering low cost deployment, low power consumption and low maintenance that expanded fixed and mobile access to the internet through new forms of technical and organizational arrangements as well as improved the quality of access based on issues of accessibility, disability and linguistic diversity. The project can be in any of the following sub-categories:-
    1. Improve access speed and quality.
    2. Address accessibility issues (disability and/or linguistic diversity).
    3. Provide access where no access exists (rural areas, remote villages, alternative uses of the radio spectrum).
    4. Offer innovative, low cost, low power consumption, and low maintenance solutions, including plans and programs aimed at providing Internet access devices.
    5. Extend fixed and mobile Internet access through new forms of technical and organizational agreements (civil society/public-private partnerships).
    6. Improve the security and resiliency of the infrastructure used to provide Internet access.
    7. Identify and promote regulatory aspects that will help accelerate and expand access.
    8. Promote and contribute to the deployment, development and maintenance of public points of Internet access for the community.
    9. Promote and contribute to efforts geared towards the digital inclusion of specific groups of individuals among the general population.
    10. Measure, monitor and publish Internet access status and evolution indicators.
    11. Promote the development of new protocols, services and standards.
    12. Encourage our region to contribute to Internet innovation and evolution.
  2. Internet for social inclusion. Initiatives related to freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy, security, consumer’s rights, new forms of intellectual property in the digital environment, and a wider range of issues related to Internet and human rights. This category seeks to promote participation through the use of ICT and covers three sub-areas:
    1. Social inclusion and democratization of access and the use of ICT. 
      • Promoting social inclusion of marginalized social groups and communities through the use of digital tools.
      • Promoting innovative, open, inclusive, and sustainable approaches for accessing key content and knowledge that will democratize access and the use of ICTs.
      • Fostering the growth of young developer communities so they can achieve critical mass by promoting applicable and replicable initiatives, with particular emphasis on women and girls in ICT.
      • Promoting skills for content and application development at recreational, social and economic level (hackathons and similar events).
      • Encouraging the creation of alternative licensing, platforms and/or tools that will promote the development, use and consumption of local content and content produced by marginalized communities.
    2. Internet and technologies for civic participation and the strengthening of democracy:
      • Encouraging the use of mobile technologies to drive increased participation in social and political processes.
      • Promoting and strengthening the various stakeholders’ transparency and accountability (including governments);
      • Encouraging citizen participation and forcing the exercise of democracy.
      • Facilitating citizens’ access to services (procedure guides, decentralized points of access, etc.).
    3. Internet and technologies for freedoms and rights.  
      • Encouraging the strategic use of the Internet for the promotion and defense of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
      • Regulatory developments that promote and defend the exercise of Human Rights in the digital environment.
      • Implementing tools that will contribute to user security and privacy.
      • Capacity- and awareness-building campaigns for defending and promoting Human Rights online.
      • New forms of intellectual property in the digital environment.
      • Implementing tools that will contribute to user security and privacy.
  3. ICT for Development. ICT for community development and poverty reduction. New uses of ICT in the health, education, industry, environment, agriculture, and other sectors. The projects can be in any of the following subcategories:-
    1. Encourage the use of ICTs for enhancing human development and economic empowerment, thus promoting the reduction of poverty.
    2. Promote new uses of ICTs in education.
    3. Work on promoting gender equality, enhancing interventions through the use of digital tools.
    4. Implement telehealth services (e-health, m-health and telemedicine).
    5. Improve preventive and control measures through the use of ICTs in case of emergencies and natural disasters.
    6. Meet challenges in the areas of economy and employment through projects that leverage ICTs and strengthen digital ecosystems.
    7. Explore the potential of the Internet of Things for development in areas such as health, agriculture, climate change, energy and natural resource management.

Three winners will be selected through this 2017 call for projects. The FIRE Africa Awards will be presented to ongoing initiatives or completed projects that submit concrete evidence of their impact. Projects pending execution or which are about to begin will not be accepted.

The FIRE Award consists of a US $3,000 cash prize plus full travel and accommodation for one representative of each project to attend the awards ceremony, and participate in sessions which will be held in Switzerland during the 2017 Internet Governance Forum.

Before submitting your proposal, we invite you to read our frequently asked questions. If you have any questions, please contact the officer in charge of the program at fireprogram (at) afrinic.net

Key dates for the 2017 AWARDS Proposals

  • Call for project proposals opens: 1 July 2017
  • Final deadline for submitting project proposals: 1 August 2017
  • Selection process: 1 August – 30 August 2017
  • Announcement of successful projects: 1 September 2017

No proposals will be accepted outside the online application system. All proposals have to be submitted before the deadline.

Apply now.