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The Information & Communication Technology Center of Excellence awarded winners of the 2012 ICT Ethiopia Application Innovation/Project and Business Plan competitors.
ICT Ethiopia Competition is an annual program that aims at motivating and cultivating innovative ideas in hardware and software, encouraging entrepreneurship, as well as inventiveness and creativity, all intended to develop skilled human resources.
Undergraduate and Graduate students, individual developers or innovators and the currently unemployed who have ICT related business ideas and/or group of individuals with 3 to 5 years of work experience in the ICT industry and educational institutions took part in the competition.
The competition has two categories, application innovation competition and ICT business plan competition. A pilot project to build a Pan-African Travel Information System named Development of Comprehensive Tourist Information System to Promote Harar Town and surrounding tourist attractions was selected as the best Business Plan. A group of five individuals represented by Asaye Nigussie received a prize of 100,000 birr. Abenezer Germande, a Software Engineer, stood second with his business plan of Optimized Flight Information Display System that displays updated flight schedules for airlines, passengers and airport crew. He received 75,000 birr for his idea. The third runner up, Addis Events which is a new company, presented a website that aims to promote  cinemas, art galleries and bars at a marginal cost and enabling the public to know what is happening in the city. The third runner up was awarded with 50,000 birr.
An application called Zeno developed by Henok Adnew a Mechanical Engineer  that solves both the design and optimization problems of aluminum windows and doors has been selected as the best application while NoMoreVirus, an anti-virus and HaHu Educational Game, an interactive game for kids stood second and third respectively. Winners of this category received computers and printers.  Beside the prizes, winners will have the chance of meeting international and local investors who would be interested in their ideas and make contributions  to realize those ideas.
Application submission for 2013 competition starts in January and ends in June.  All Ethiopian individual applicants who are sole owners of original works that have not been presented in other competitions or used for commercial purposes are eligible to take part in the competition.
The main objective of the competition is to encourage projects and innovations that open up wider access of ICT solutions through developing and producing tools locally and provide a forum for participants to promote and market their innovations and introduce new opportunities.
Achieving the above objectives will add value to the development of the ICT industry, according to Tewodros Mebrahtu, Director of ICTCoE. It will create an opportunity to reach out to potentially high-caliber ICT budding and experienced professionals. The competition will also encourage entrepreneurs to focus on objective market demands and motivates students to be more innovative by giving additional exposures.
ICTCoE works towards the realization of the role of ICT as a key tool to accelerate the nation’s economic and social development, according to Tewodros.