The Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) won the continental social media award in the category of Government/Public Sector for the annual Social Media Awards Africa (SMAA), a premier continental initiative poised to recognise and reward excellence, creativity and impact in the use of social media tools and platforms by individuals and organizations.
The event held in Lagos on Sunday, 25 January 2015, brought together social media influencers, experts, enthusiasts and policy makers that would explore and forge new developmental paths for Africa.
This follows the closure of the voting window for the continent-wide initiative on social media development across Africa last December. SMAA is a premier continental initiative, which seeks to recognise and reward creativity, excellence and impact in the usage of social media across Africa.
Commenting on the award, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Emmanuel Habumuremyi noted that the Ministry embraced the use of social media through all networks – including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Flickr – to be able to engage with the general public, especially young people and ICT players.
Mr. Habumuremyi stressed that MYICT embraced social media to interact but also disseminate information; and it has become such an essential tool of communication that is essential avenue to receiving feedback from the stakeholders.
The Twitter account of the ministry, @MyictRwanda, was created in January 2012 and has since attracted over 12,700 followers.
Later last year, the MYCT launched the YouthConnekt Hangout, which serves as a platform for the youth to discuss with decision makers and opinion leaders.
Using Google+ and other networks, YouthConnekt Hangout broadcasts twice a month discussions on several topics, including youth empowerment, raising capital, role of young people in development, as well as achieving lasting peace.
The Social Media Awards Africa is an annual gathering of business leaders, social media experts and influencers, development experts and other relevant stakeholders who are positioned to promote development in Africa through digital and social media exploration.
SMAA produced 15 awardees out of 43 finalists who emerged through a rigorous screening process from 923 nominations from over 26 African countries across Africa.