WSIS Prize 2023

The WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) Prizes contest was developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to advance sustainable development. Since its inception, the contest for WSIS Prizes has attracted more than 300,000 stakeholders. It is the unique global platform to identify and showcase success stories in the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines and SDGs.

In 2022, Apps and Girls submitted an entry for the WSIS Prizes competition, highlighting one of the numerous projects implemented within the organization known as the Jovia Program, which started in 2019. Our Jovia project addresses the critical issue of the digital gender divide, and it gives underprivileged girls and young women in Tanzania who are out of school and unemployed the opportunity to receive advanced IT and entrepreneurship training as well as the support ecosystem they need to successfully obtain formal employment, particularly in ICT-related employment, or to develop and launch IT-based (social) businesses. Our main goal is to promote women’s socioeconomic empowerment in Tanzania and other Sub-Saharan African countries through tech-based entrepreneurship and participation in the formal employment sector, particularly in ICT-related jobs. For the past 5 years, we were able to establish two Girls Innovating Spaces, through which we have trained 270 girls and young women, 53 of whom have found formal employment in ICT-related fields; 30 startups have been established; and 87 have re-enrolled and are continuing their education in higher learning institutions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

There were a total of 18 distinct categories concerning ICT applications that offer benefits in all aspects of life. E-employment was a category in which Apps and Girls applied for and emerged as the overall winner of the 2023 WSIS Prizes in that specific category. Apps and Girls was the only African organization that won the WSIS Prize for the year 2023; it was also the first time in history that a Tanzanian institution won the WSIS Prize. Apps and Girls is elated to discover that their endeavors to create an impact and foster empowerment among young Tanzanian women are acknowledged on a global scale.

In the month of March 2023, Carolyne Ekyarisiima, the CEO of Apps and Girls, participated in the prominent WSIS Prizes Ceremony held in Geneva, Switzerland. During this event, she accepted a distinguished accolade that symbolizes the acknowledgment of our community-centric endeavors and the significant impact we have achieved.

Below are the links providing additional details about the competition and its winners.