Rwanda wins global award for Digital Media Academy

Rwanda’s Africa Digital Media Academy has won a coveted award from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Gasana tests one of the new iMac Computers to be used at Rwanda Media Academy.    The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
Gasana tests one of the new iMac Computers to be used at Rwanda Media Academy. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

Rwanda’s Africa Digital Media Academy has won a coveted award from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Rwanda, alongside 17 other countries, was recognised for her outstanding effort and achievement in implementing various initiatives that seek to harness ICT development.

Africa Digital Media Academy is a media production school started in March 2012 by the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), together with Pixel Corps, a US-based digital media firm.

The centre prepares its students for production work needed in digital media. Through live, hands-on learning in the computer lab and production studio, with distance learning from television experts in the US, students are given instructions to proceed at their own pace with support from the instructors.

The emphasis is on student collaboration with the community as the foundation for effective learning.

The Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, received the award on behalf of the government, during World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) forum focusing on post-2015 development agenda in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday.

Enrollment

“This global recognition is a demonstration of the exemplary leadership of President Paul Kagame, who is the co-chair of the ITU’s Broadband Commission. It is an encouragement to accelerate our progress toward realising the promise of ICT, especially broadband for the people of Rwanda and Africa at large,” the minister told The New Times by e-mail.

Nsingimana said government identified and brought on board a leading partner, Pixel Corps, and provided infrastructure support through WDA.

“We submitted our application for this award category and emerged top among all ITU member states,” the minister said.

According to Jerome Gasana, the WDA director-general, the academy “will provide up to five levels of professionalism, which, if covered continuously, can last for a period of three years.”

Current intakes are mainly of Level One trainees comprising persons with experience in multimedia business. At least 100 students are expected to be enrolled in a given academic year.

“For the past years, government has invested in well-targeted development of ICT.  Such a thrust of growth is evidenced by fibre optic cables inter-linking all districts.  This school guarantees high quality multimedia skills,” Gasana said.

According to ITU, more than 280 projects from 64 countries participated in the contest. During the voting phase, more than 3,500 registered users voted for the projects according to the rules and instructions of the contest.

Of the 280 projects, 18 winners were selected for the awards.

The projects that won awards are from Rwanda, Mexico, Netherlands, Ecuador, India, Saudi Arabia and Serbia. Others include Italy, Kazakhstan, Congo, Oman, Kuwait, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, and Columbia.

Showcasing

At the event, the awardees showcased their projects, and shared experiences.

The gala dinner coincided with the UN World Summit on Information Society, which kicked off in Geneva, yesterday.

The annual meeting aims at reviewing progress made toward targets set in Tunis in 2005. The meeting also marks 10 years since the first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.

The WSIS Forum focuses on the future of ICTs, particularly as an engine of growth in a post-2015 development environment.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “This year’s WSIS Forum is a unique opportunity to develop multi-stakeholder consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future, to ensure that WSIS initiative is preserved in line with the real requirements of the use of ICTs for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself.”

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