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Monday, October 3, 2011

Where's the Tandaa shortlist? Kenya ICT Board asks for time

Scribes, bloggers, developers et al this year have an eagle eye trained on the process of awarding the Tandaa applications development grants particularly for integrity and transparency.

While the Board said it would issue the list of shortlisted applicants by end of September, yesterday it said it would do so by October 10.

No explanation were given in this one line response from Kaburo Kobia, the project manager of local digital content when asked for the update.

"We are a week behind the review. We will announce on Oct 10."

However, the board went ahead and updated its Tandaa website:

Greetings! ,  

The review of proposals received for the Tandaa Digital Content Grant is still on going. We had hoped to announced the shortlist at the end of September, but we are yet to complete the review of the 795 proposals received.

The good news is that we are only a few days away from completing the review of the first phase of the Call for Proposals.

As such, we will announce the shortlist in a week's time on October 10.

We appreciate your patience. We are committed to ensuring that every proposal is reviewed adequately.   

The following response was also posted on Twitter.

the shortlist will be realised in a weeks time .please keep checking our website and newsletters


Being late by a week is fine and understandable but the Board must be cognizant of the apprehension and suspicion that some developers already have about the process. In particular, it has been accused of either engaging in favouritism or not being transparent in how it chooses its judges for these contests. Complaints have been made that the same clique of people is seeing playing different roles at different times from judges, to speakers to award recipients. This should not happen in a field that thrives on disorder and randomness and innovation.

You cannot have an IT industry that is ordered and sequenced and mid wifed by the same people like say the legal profession where young lawyers learn at the knees of the older counsel.

IT is an industry that by its very nature is disruptive! It is an industry where you stop for lunch, you become someone else's lunch.

You sleep like Infoseek, Yahoo comes along and dethrones you. You sleep like Yahoo, Google snaps you up. Like Nokia, Apple and so on. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on form the next wave of innovators.

In short, what we expect is freshness and disruption. We don't want to see the same people pitching different apps as if there aren't  any more innovators out there.

For its sake and for the sake of the Tandaa Grants, which incidentally, are public funds, should be quick to announce the short list of applicants and the list of those who will judge entries to determine final winners.

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