The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has announced a new youth-focused category in the annual IITPSA President’s Awards, which have recognised the local IT industry’s leading lights for over 30 years. The new award will debut at the 2022 President’s Awards later this year, and will recognise outstanding achievements by students, IT entrepreneurs or up-and-coming IT professionals under the age of 35.

IITPSA President Admire Gwanzura says the new Dynamism in ICT Youth Award acknowledges early excellence in IT and will encourage young achievers to strive towards even greater accomplishments. “The new award has been introduced because the IITPSA is passionate about growing the South African IT skills pipeline and broader ecosystem. By recognising outstanding students, exceptional young professionals embarking on their IT careers and entrepreneurs innovating in IT, we aim to encourage them and raise their public profiles,” he says.

2022 marks the IITPSA’s 65th anniversary – a milestone traditionally associated with a sapphire. In light of this, IITPSA has themed its sapphire anniversary President’s Awards ‘Brilliance in IT’.

“This year’s theme is appropriate on several levels,” says Gwanzura. “Sapphires are formed as a result of heat and intense pressure, and once cut and polished, they are brilliant, rare and exceptionally hard stones. Likewise, pressure and polish have shaped the brilliance we see in many of South Africa’s IT leaders today.”

These President’s Awards categories include:

The IT Personality Award, which recognises a highly respected and outstanding ICT professional who has made a significant technical or academic contribution to the industry, who has been successful in building a highly-respected IT organisation or business, and/or who has made a major contribution to the IT profession over a number of years.

The Visionary CIO Award, which honours a CIO who has demonstrated visionary leadership in using IT to support, grow and transform business and/or who has established best practice in implementing technology solutions in an organisation.

The Technology Excellence Award, which will be presented to a person or team who has made exceptional or innovative use of technology for an organisation and/or who has exhibited technological excellence that has delivered measurable benefit for business/the SA Economy.

The Social Responsibility/Community Award, which will be presented to a person, team or project that delivers the benefits of IT on a not-for-profit basis into the community or brings the community into the IT space.

The Dynamism in ICT Youth Award, which recognises a person younger than 35 for exceptional potential or achievement in ICT. Nominees should be nominated by educators, employers, colleagues or mentors and may include students excelling in STEM studies with outstanding bodies of work; young entrepreneurs in the IT sector; and individual up-and-coming IT professionals.