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The Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA) introduced the Climate Change-friendly Smart Agriculture Box (SAB) innovation. It has since won another prestigious continental award, this time at the 14th African Association for Public Administration and Management’s Innovative Management Award (IMA), which was held on December 07 in Livingstone, Zambia. The IMA is a pan-African award initiative that aims to support, foster, and honour innovation and creativity in national and local public sector institutions, organisations, and ministries.
The Department entered for these Awards with its Smart Agriculture Box innovation, before it was selected as one of the six finalists, from 57 nominations received. Pre and final interviews were held, and the DARDLEA team impressed the Panel with its presentations on the SAB, scooping 1st Prize, the Gold AAPAM Award, over the other five countries including Egypt, Mauritius and Namibia.
“This recognition is an indication that we are on the right track, doing something that impacts the lives of our ordinary people. We obviously did not come with the Smart Box idea to win awards, but with Climate Change being the centre of attention today, ours was to come up with ways and means to sustain food security, and the Box is proving to be a perfect initiative. And yes, we are happy that our innovation receives such recognition on the continental level”, said DARDLEA MEC, Ms Busisiwe Shiba.