ACIA 2013: UCC Annual Communication Innovation Award Winners


The 3rd Annual Communication Innovation Award (ACIA 2013), an initiative by Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) that seeks to recognize excellence through innovation in the communications sector were held yesterday at Kampala Serena hotel. There were a total of 159 participants who competed in this year’s edition under 4 categories which included The Young Innovator, Business excellence, digital content and ICT for Development awards.


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The Uganda content portal by Communication for Development Foundation of Uganda(CDFU) won the digital content award.
The portal is a multimedia source of information that bridges the digital divide between those with access to the Internet and those without.

Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) Initiative by Grameen foundation won the ICT for Development award.
The CKW project project aims to improve farmers’ livelihood through the use of ICT especially using smart phones.

Project Go Smart by National Social Security Fund(NSSF) won the Business excellence award. Project Go Smart is a multi-faceted ICT initiative designed to meet the needs of NSSF clients.

The JICO Geeks From Jinja College won the Young ICT Innovators award with their School Grading System which is a computerized report cards system that helps mail-merge manual report cards.

The Pearl Guide with their Uganda Guide App, a project that seeks to utilize smart phones in organizing business bookings won the Judges’ choice award while the JICO Geeks again won the Peoples’ choice award.

  • Congratulations to all the winners! And the nominees, and, most importantly, to the app developer community in Uganda! I’m happy to hear new names and hope we have more SMEs and start ups participate next year.

    • Mwesigwa Daniel

      The key industry players or rather the big guns took utmost dominance of ACIA. I, too, hope that SMEs and start-ups participate and dominate next year’s version.

      • Daniel, NO! The big guns — Huawei, MTN, Airtel, NTV, Vision group etc did not either feature any innovation or were out-beaten! For instance, MTN had the SAGE project while Vision group Business Automation software none of which won!

        • Mwesigwa Daniel

          David, how could you expect MTN to beat Graemeen foundation to an award sponsored by Airtel? Again the grading system that Jico Geeks fielded to win young innovators ICT award is already in use at Busoga college Mwiri. The whole argument here is that it was a big guns affair e.g look at the Uganda Content portal that won the digital content award, it is fully backed by UNICEF and the government.

          All in all, I commend UCC for taking the inittiative to organise ACIA but start-ups and SMEs need to be motivated, they are the next big thing.

      • I congratulate all winners, it was a really stiff competition but they made it through. However, I agree with Daniel about the big guns dominating ACIA, if you look at the list of finalists from which the winners were chosen there is no doubt that the big guns dominated the whole event.

        Furthermore if ACIA is intended to make ICT in Uganda better, I say it has a long way to go because there is still a lot of disorganization in the whole process right from submitting entries up to the way winners are selected. I will point out a few problems I realized from a huge list of problems that are there anyway

        The entry form gives little room for information about the project being submitted and I know information about the project is what is based on when doing all the weighing to see which one should win. With limited information about anything, one is bound to draw inappropriate conclusions hence with the little information the ACIA organizers collect about project entries there are higher chances of misfiring while choosing the winner. Many people complained about the the size of the video that was allowed to accompany each entry. 10MB are really too small, because if a 5 minutes video is compressed to 10MB there are high chances of ending up with a very low quality videos which may not demonstrate very well whatever is intended in the project being submitted.

        FACT: Visuals (Photos & Videos) enable one to understand something fast and better. So video size should be worked upon, though the length of the video can be left at 5 mins as set at the moment.

        Its really a shame that the organizers of ACIA have not set the up a standard entry system that can avoid multiple entries for the same project in the same category. I will give an example of a project titled “ICT4Education” by a tech guru – Solomon Bbumba, it has two entries in the category of DIGITAL CONTENT AWARD. A quick look at that signals to me that this entry had a high probability of being selected because it had two entries despite the fact that it was the same project.

        There is little or even no transparency at all in the way winners are chosen which leaves many wondering how its done. And for those that don’t emerge as winners they never get to know why they didn’t win yet I believe all that info as to why a project was not considered as a winning project should be availed if improvement is to be achieved. When someone does something wrong, he/she usually does corrections to make everything better but how in the world those that lost know where to do some corrections in their projects if at all the judges don’t tell them what lacked in their projects?

        This one is more like a suggestion, Let ACIA organizers put more categories and make them more specific. That way there will be proper placement of projects in respective rightful categories otherwise there is a lot of mix up of projects with the limited categories in place at the moment.

        • Mwesigwa Daniel

          Julius, I totally understand what you have put across. Next year there has to be proper and more categories made to benefit all especially start-ups and SMEs.The way of submission undoubtedly has to be improved, visuals are key in putting meaningful communication across,so definitely it has to be more than 10MB. Thanks for your views, hope someone at UCC passes this on.

  • Mukalele Rogers

    It was a nice experience and a great evening! Thank you UCC for the ACIA Awards! They are really inspiring the youth and the ICT sector in general.