e-Swabhimani Smart Society Congress 2014, a platform to showcase: ICTA CEO

Thursday, 6 November 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The e-Swabhimani Smart Society Congress 2014 is a great platform for the e-Swabhimani finalists to showcase their e-content and application innovations, says ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura. Dewapura said so while participating at the e-Swabhimani Smart Society Congress 2014 held on Tuesday (4) at BMICH. Speaking further on the occasion Dewapura pointed out how progress was being made in e-Content and applications. After underlining that Tuesday’s Smart Society Congress had a great historical significance as the very first Smart Society Congress, Dewapura traced the history of e-Swabhimani and showed its link with the UN based World Summit Award. The following are some excerpts from Dewapura’s speech on the occasion.   First ever Smart Society Congress “It is great to be here this morning, flagging off proceedings on the first ever Smart Society Congress hosted by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). It is my privilege and honour to welcome all of you here, on behalf of ICTA, to witness and partake in what I believe would be an exceptional day of sharing and learning. As you are aware the ICT Agency has been conducting the National e-Content award ceremony for four consecutive years now, and we are scheduled to host the fifth e-Swhabimani tomorrow evening. However this year we expanded the events’ activities, in order to provide a platform for the finalists and the potential winners of the e-Swabhimani awards, to showcase their products to a wider audience. This is an opportunity which is normally not possible at the short and more formal award ceremony itself, hence the reason for hosting a one-day congress, specifically for that purpose. The series of activities leading up to the e-Swhabimani, of which this congress is a significant component as of this year, are important steps in our road map of taking the benefits of ICT to all our citizens; we believe that it has also been the catalyst for the growth of the e-content industry in Sri Lanka.   Progress from e-Swabhimani launch in 2009 It is the Government’s policy to recognise and give prominence to local talent, local skills and local innovations. And it is for this purpose that ICTA conceptualised and launched e-Swhabimani back in 2009. This was an opportunity for local talent, and local skills, to come-up with innovative and pioneering digital content, for the benefit local target audiences, especially for the benefit of rural communities. Each year the applications and responses have grown significantly, and we have been over-whelmed by them. In addition, the rise in the quality of the applications over the years has been remarkable. This is indeed a clear indication that the need for local digital content is now widely recognised, and the latent innovative talents of the local developers of ‘quality e-content’, are rapidly coming to the fore.   World Summit Awards Also I would like to mention, that as in the previous years we will be submitting the winning products of this national contest to the internationally held ‘World Summit Awards’, which is held along the same lines, albeit with competition from across the globe. I’m proud to say there have been winners from Sri Lanka in each of the World Summit Award events, performing well above the competition in the region, and sometimes even better than the competition in the rest of the world. I’m sure you all remember; we were privileged to host the 2013 World Summit Awards in Colombo last year, which in itself was recognition of the country’s status in the ICT sphere. The enormous success of that event, the contribution from local experts and entrepreneurs, and the relevance it had to the country’s e-development journey, brought even further acclaim to Sri Lanka. And I’m sure the winners of 2014 e-Swabhimani, all of whom will be featured here today (although they wouldn’t know that they are winners as yet), will bring even more glory to the country at the WSA 2015. This will continue to showcase the great strides we have taken as country in the field of ‘ICT for Development’ and ‘e-Content’.”