Youth are creators and consumers of technologies ranging from mobile telephones to e-Mail, to instant messaging, radio and television. As both business and social entrepreneurs, youth are creatively using technology to address community needs. ICT could help lay the foundation for future universal participation and help by doing so to eradicate existing disparities particularly those between youth of developed countries and youth of developing countries.
The Youth and ICT Awards recognised eight young social entrepreneurs from different regions of the world who have transformed social development opportunities into a sustainable social enterprise through innovative use of ICTs. The awards highlight successful young social entrepreneurs who can envision social enterprise through innovative use of ICTs.
Social entrepreneurs are individuals who identify a social problem and apply the entrepreneurial spirit, business insight, leadership and non-profit principles to solve the problem. Eligible applicants for the award were the youth between the ages of 17 and 30 years old, from a developing country or a country in transition, who demonstrate social impact, innovation, sustainability and commitment and passion in their social enterprise while using ICTs as a means for achieving their enterprise's social objective.
The Youth and ICT Awards 2005 are presented by the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), in collaboration with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, MITRA Technology Foundation (MITRA), TakingITGlobal (TIG), Thai Rural Net (TRN) and Young Asia Television (YATV).
Nominations for the award were received from all around the world. Initially, there were plans to recognize six awardees. But later the number of awardees were increased to maintain a gender balance and to increase the regional diversity.
The list of winners of the Youth and ICT awards 2005 are as follows:
- Wu Yang (China)
- Raj Ridvan Singh (Malaysia)
- Mark Okowa (Kenya)
- Salah Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh)
- Jean-Paul Bauer (South Africa)
- Audrey Codera (Philippines)
- Rana Gulzar (Pakistan)
- Nileshni Sekar (Fiji)
Each of the six successful candidates will receive a number of important prizes that will not only allow them to network with other youth, but to also move their initiative further in their local community.
The winners will receive:
- A US$500 cash prize
- Travel and accommodation to Tunisia for Phase 2 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, Tunisia
- Access to an exclusive one-day capacity building workshop prior to WSIS
- The opportunity to showcase their social enterprise on a panel at the WSIS to policy makers, private sector and civil society groups during WSIS
- Media exposure through a profile in i4d Magazine and a feature on YATV.
In terms of geographic spread, there are awardees from East Asia, South Asia, South-East Asia, Africa and Oceania. Among the eight winners, there are two women