Ghana’s Climate Smart Integrated Flood Management project has won the Global Innovation Competition (GIC) award aimed at creating a platform for innovations and inspirational ideas that address governance, inclusion and accountability.
The project, which will combine simple forecasting and early warning systems for citizens with longer-term data gathering around flood prone areas to support city planners, won a cash award of 138,800 pounds out of the 600,000 cash award for the nine winners.
It was jointly put up by Dr Delali Dovie, Lecturer, Regional Institute of Population Studies, University of Ghana, Legon and Dr Raymond A. Kasei, Department of Climate Change and Food Security, University for Development Studies, Tamale Campus.
In all, nine competitors including Kenya, the Philippines, Indonesia, Uganda, and Mozambique were awarded.
It was organised by the GIC in collaboration with Making Voices Count (MAVC), a Grand Challenge for Development and the United States Agency for International Development.
Announcing the nine finalists at a GIC 2016 Gala Night in Accra, Dr Fletcher Tembo, Programme Director, MAVC, said this year’s competition received about 400 entering and after a careful screening, 15 finalists were chosen.
He said the selection process started last year September online and each country put up a website for people to put their ideas and innovations for public voting to select which proposal they deemed fit.
Dr Tembo said the remaining six candidates still had a chance to be chosen for future competitions and urged them to continue dreaming their ideas and innovations.
Mr Declan Ottaro, Innovation Coordinator for MAVC, said they were currently dealing with 12 countries and expressed the hope to scale up the number in future.
He said the competition was to give opportunity to innovators who had passion for their ideas but did not have a bigger platform to implement them.
He said 170,000 pounds was the cash prize for those who won the competition and that was increased to 300, 000 pounds in the second year, and now 600,000 pounds and congratulated the winners for their vision and creativity.
Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the Minister of Communication, stressed the role information and communication technology played in national development and urged both awardees and those who did not receive any award to work hard to implement their various projects.
He, therefore, congratulated the organisers for their vision and focus.
Dr Delali Dovie and Dr Raymond A. Kasei, on their part, thanked the organisers for giving them the platform to be part of the competition.
The project consists of putting monitoring and innovative feedback systems, and analyzing information from various communities and disseminating them to the people using both traditional and early warning system technologies.
It will provide an information and create co-ordinated flood response plans for Accra, especially around Avenor and Odawna areas to reduce impact of what the country witnessed last year; the June 3 disaster.
The project indicated that there were lots of research work gathering dust in the various universities and “this is the time for research institutions to partner with governments and the private sector to put their findings into fruition for the betterment of the citizenry”.