The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) is among the nine (9) winners of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards). ALIN emerged the best in East Africa region in the Institutional category through their blog Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV), thus winning Euro 3,000.
The winners were announced on July 17, 2014 during the cocktail dinner organized at the International Fin4Ag Conference at Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards) is organized in the framework of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and Agriculture Rural Report and Youth in the Information Society (ARRYIS) project, in collaboration with FARA, Yam-Pukri, CAFAN, African Youth Foundation (AYF), African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), Secretariat of the Pacific Community/ Pacific Agricultural and Forestry Policy Network (SPC/PAFPNET) and e-Agriculture.
YoBLoCo aims to put into limelight successes and issues faced by youth engaged in agriculture, in urban and rural areas; and to encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers groups and organizations interested in the youth in agriculture question.
Apart from the above awards, ALIN has also been privileged to win Access to Learning Award of $1 million in 2011 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for providing knowledge and information through a variety of innovative channels in remote communities throughout Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication in 2012 for its efforts to improve communication for rural communities in developing countries and the ICT innovation for Social Equity and Poverty Reduction Award in 2012.
At the organization level, ALIN has a network of Maarifa (Knowledge) centers spread across the region to facilitate technology uptake and project implementation. ALIN has a professional team of individuals who support project development and implementation. In 2011, the Regional Director Mr. James Nguo was selected an Ashoka Fellow, (https://www.ashoka.org/about) a global organization that identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs - individuals with innovative and practical ideas for solving social problems.
ALIN has successfully piloted SOKO+ (http://sokoplus.sokopepe.co.ke/) online platform in Ng’arua Kenya and has received further support from Ford foundation to further scale up the operations throughout East Africa.