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January 2004



World Summit Award recognition for Science in Africa

The recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva celebrated the best of the web in 8 categories through the prestigious World Summit Award (WSA). Science in Africa magazine was selected by the Grand Jury as one of the 21 Continental Best Practice Examples in the category e-Science.

The WSA Grand Jury, composed of experts from 36 countries, evaluated over 800 products nominated from 130 countries late last year. The jury placed special emphasis on projects which "show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of communities," and "help to bridge the growing content gap between developed and developing countries".

The jury selected 40 Best content products, 5 outstanding products from each of the 8 categories. One of the top websites in the e-Science category was, a USA based site which "provides free and unrestricted access to scientific literature". The site is intended for scientists as well as lay readers. 

In addition, 21 products in each category received special mention as best practice examples. Science in Africa magazine was selected as one of the 21 best practise examples in the e-science category from nominations received from Africa, Asia, Arab Countries and Middle East, Europe, Latin America, North America with Australia and New Zealand have been chosen.

The top products were publicly presented at the WSA Exhibition during the WSIS and will feature in "the World's Best Content Road Show" in Asia, Australia and Oceania, Africa, Europe, North and South America this year.

Nominations for this round of the WSA were received from nationally appointed experts who proposed national finalists in each of the eight categories. During 2005 another world-wide contest will be launched seeking the best in e-Content and creativity. It will be open to all nominations in 8 categories.

The WSA is a three year global project working in the framework of the WSIS ( 2003 - 2005) and will culminate with the World Summit Gala in Tunisia in 2005, bringing the world's best in e-content into the spotlight.

More information:

The first phase of the WSIS in Geneva sought "to adopt a Declaration of principles and a Plan of Action for implementation by governments, institutions and all sectors of civil society to deal with the new challenges of the ever-evolving information society, specifically identifying ways to help close the gap between the "haves" and "have nots" of access to the global information and communication network. In Tunisia, development themes will be a key focus in the second phase in Tunisia and it will assess progress that has been made and adopt any further Action Plan to be taken."

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