Strathmore partners with University of Bristol to improve African rural data science skills

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Strathmore University, through its Research and Innovation Centre @ilabAfrica last week entered into an agreement with University of Bristol-Jean Golding Institute in UK in a collaboration aimed at Capacity building in Data Science skills to develop rural digital solutions in Africa.

The partnership will see the two institutions working together towards the development of digital programs backed by data science aimed at solving major challenges facing rural populations in Africa especially in the areas of agriculture and health.

Under the project, smart farming agricultural approaches on battling pests and diseases, access to information, climatic conditions will be developed with a key focus on farming in Kenya which is majorly done in rural locations and has a huge potential towards creating employment opportunities while also meeting domestic nutritional requirements for the local population.

According to the Journal of Natural Sciences Research study on Tomato Diseases Occurrence (2020) in Kenya, 91% of farmers observed fungal wilting infection on their tomatoes with 58% of sampled respondents recording yield losses of 1-10%.  From the study, the most injurious diseases to farmer profits were early blight and late blight at 53.8%.

The biggest challenge facing farmers has been the lack of information on pests and diseases coupled with poor extension services with a majority of farmers using wrong pesticides and chemicals in battling the pests.

According Joseph Gitonga,  data scientist at @iLabAfrica the threat of pests, diseases and climate change variations can have a significant impact on crops such as maize, tomatoes, bananas and Coffee resulting in major impacts on household livelihoods, national economies and global food security, and correct identification of a disease or pest when it appears can be crucial towards efficient disease management.

“Considering surrounding factors in rural areas such as increased internet penetration, mobile phones spread and access to low cost computing power, these can lead to a situation where disease diagnosis based on an automated image recognition system can be made at an unprecedented scale” said Mr. Gitonga.

Dr. John Olukuru, Head of Data Science at Strathmore University says that Data Science holds the key to the future of the African continent.

“Data Science is a new area that many young people can exploit to develop their careers, many challenges facing Africa can be resolved through data and above all looking at our private sector, they don’t have proper skills to make data driven decisions, so data science holds the key to the better future of the continent” said Dr. Olukuru.

The creation of smart farming systems for rural populations in Africa using data science skills will be key towards improved yields, creation of more employment/income generating opportunities and food security while growing the African economies.

Turning data, knowledge to actions, solutions through science

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Image Courtesy Kenya News Agency: Flooding in Narok Town

Data science can be described as the art of covering insights and trends in data for purposes of further interpretation and analysis to get more meaningful conclusions.

More and more companies, organizations and businesses are coming to realize the importance of data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning. Regardless of industry or size, organizations that wish to remain competitive in this age of big data need to efficiently develop and implement data science capabilities or risk being left behind.

According to the International Data Corporation (2021) Data science is dominating most industries today, as most of them operate on the basis of data. It has revolutionized the way data is perceived by different industries. Considering the vast field of data science and its diverse applications, it is expected that it will spread to include many aspects of manufacturing and service industries.

In Kenya, a case on point is Narok Town in Narok County which is prone to both flash floods and river floods. According to an article published on Citizen Digital in May 2020, more than 100,000 people had been affected by floods in Narok town and its environs during the long rains at that time in the form of displacements of families and destruction of property leading to people camping in schools as temporary residences. This led to the government having to compensate the affected persons with a Ksh 245 million to assist them in regaining their normal lives.

Geographical location of the rural town prompts flood occurrences as it is located in between Escarpments of the Great Rift Valley and the main river flows through the town causing instances of it bursting into flood at the local town, this greatly inconveniences locals leading to displacements and loss of personal properties.

The Strathmore University’s data science team at @iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre is currently working on a project that will help control flooding and drought in Narok town and will also be done in other flood and drought prone areas thereafter. These projects will enable the locals to predict the adverse conditions and mitigate risks before they happen.

The project aims at coming up with a visual tool to aid in the visualization of flood-prone areas, determine the causes of floods and estimate the total damage caused by floods in Narok town. The study extracts the river properties and geometry through data analysis techniques and tools to determine the hydrological routing of the Enkare Narok river to carry out the unsteady flow simulation that yields the creation of the flood-prone areas, and the cause of flooding. This flood hazard map will help in the forecasting of floods thus being beneficial in the creation of an early warning system for the locals.

According to data scientist Mr. Joseph Gitonga-of Strathmore University, data helps in close monitoring of operations and management of an organizations activities while also addressing simple challenges more precisely.

“A lot of decision makers globally are turning to data to help them make more precise decisions and importantly for their businesses to create a competitive advantage, data utilization helps in proper understanding of customer behavior, internal operations and creates a lot of efficiency which puts a business ahead of others in the market” says Mr. Gitonga.

Mr. Gitonga further addresses the importance and extent of data science use and the solutions it offers to businesses, institutions while addressing major societal problems.

“Data science is very important in modern times, the world is evolving and for instance the current Covid-19 pandemic has changed a number of things especially on the importance of strong digital infrastructures. What is happening is that a lot of people are shifting their minds from making gut feeling to more data driven decisions in business, startups and government institutions” added Mr. Gitonga.

Strathmore University’s Research and Innovation hub @iLabAfrica offers a platform for businesses and institutions to understand the importance of using aspects of data science for their competitive advantage and spur growth.

The Strathmore University Data Science Unit at @iLabAfrica offers short courses in the new study area aimed at equipping individuals with the requisite skills and knowledge to develop and execute data driven solutions to many challenges facing Kenya and Africa as a whole in businesses, startups, government institutions among others. The courses are Certificate in Data Science (CDS), Big Data Analytics, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Executive Business Analytics courses which are all open and customized.

Global Innovation firm working with Strathmore for African Tech challenge

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Strathmore University’s Research and Innovation Centre @iLabAfrica in collaboration with the Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Company (GIE) Dubai, UAE, and other partners in play launched the Africa Internet of Things (IoT) & Artificial Intelligence(AI) challenge competition. The challenge is an incubation program, targeting senior University students and young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in the areas of IoT and AI among other technology related areas.

Powered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), which is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, the program was first launched in 2016 in Egypt, then in Arab countries in 2019. The 2021 challenge has kicked off in Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia and Nigeria and will later expand to include South Africa and Rwanda. The initiative targets the whole continent online and will only make on-ground activities in the mentioned countries.

Mr. Mahmoud Kelany, a Communications Lead for the African IoT and AI Challenge said that the program will help participants leverage on a smart future through these modern technologies, the digital transformation initiative will deliver training and workshops to the participants while also providing them with the needed support in the development process for their solutions. After the training, participants will compete in the local finals, thereafter, winners from each country will qualify for the regional finals in the IEEE Global Conference on IoT and AI later this year.

Stephen Gitahi, an IoT researcher at @iLabAfrica simplifies the two leading technologies, further adding that the importance of IoT and AI technologies cannot be underestimated in modern times and that they will be drivers of the fourth industrial revolution which will be about smart technology driven ecosystems.

“AI can be defined as when machines simulate human intelligence, gain knowledge and collect information through advanced algorithms. This information is then used in decision-making, aiming to make the process accurate and safe. IoT on the other hand, is a network of interconnected physical devices exchanging information over the internet. IoT is characterized by hardware (sensors, actuators, processing and communication units), software and other integrated technologies that work in harmony, providing needed data for processing and analysis” says Mr Gitahi.

The partnership between the two institutions and other players comes at a time when technology is seen as integral in keeping business wheels turning during this Covid-19 global pandemic. IoT and AI technologies are becoming more imperative with many businesses using the two to ensure continuous processes in their value chains, supporting customers, suppliers and employees. It is clear that not all businesses have taken advantage of the emerging technologies and lack of awareness and knowledge on these technologies has been evident over time.

The African IoT and AI challenge is expected to have a big impact towards bridging the technology and innovation gap in the continent, participants in the program will be given an opportunity to learn, explore and build solutions around these technologies for the African businesses, startups and institutions leading to advancement in technology adoption within the continent.

IoT and AI are powerful technologies that work hand in hand and can pose many benefits to businesses, the year 2021 has been challenging to many businesses & industries, IoT & AI have played a crucial role in shaping business and consumer trends globally. Manufacturers have been forced to adapt quickly to maintain momentum and remain competitive.

With the necessary knowledge, support and insight into the technology industry provided by this program, the Kenyan & African market will be able to produce highly marketable and skilled IoT and AI professionals ready to provide challenge driven solutions.

Aiding cervical cancer treatment through technology

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, in 2018 an estimated 570 000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311 000 women died from the disease with 85% of the cases being traced to low and middle income countries.

In a deal that will see Strathmore University’s Research and Innovation Centre @iLabAfrica collaborate with IBM research Lab-Nairobi, the Centre will work closely with the Kenyan Ministry of Health to detect, monitor, treat, and prevent upsurge in cervical cancer cases by collecting data for purposes of making evidence-based decisions after analysis. This will be done through the use of modern technology for purposes of diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix and is caused by an infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact. The disease accounts for a majority of women deaths in developing countries, in sub Saharan Africa, where Kenya belongs, 53 in every 100,000 women are suffering from cervical cancer.

The Deputy Director @iLabAfrica Mr. Emmanuel Kweyu led a team of ten to the successful implementation of an Open Source Laboratory Information System (LIS) in public hospital laboratories in Kenya. The set-up is aimed at providing affordable and sustainable laboratory information system and services for developing countries which will help in early diagnosis and treatment of the killer disease.

The IBM research project will also work to improve on the commitment of University students to their respective communities of origin by engaging them in the raising of awareness on cervical cancer and collection of data on community demographics on the disease for purposes of creating an electronic health database.

When diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Cancers diagnosed in late stages can also be controlled with appropriate treatment.

In the new system developed by @iLabAfrica, an online database will be created containing all details and test results of patients as tested in Kenyan hospital labs with real time access by health officials, an analysis will be easily conducted periodically on cervical cancer patients to fast track their early treatment processes which can aid in slowing down its spread while saving lives.

With the use of technology to store data on patients’ information, health practitioners will be in a better position to respond quickly due to the existence of data on previous tests, treatments and diagnosis, this will significantly improve the quality of healthcare offered in Kenya.

To know more about the project and what the @iLabAfrica e-Health Department is doing click here to Know more.

Strathmore hosts block chain, artificial intelligence and cyber security conference

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Strathmore University through its Research and Innovation hub @iLabAfrica hosted a forum in collaboration with global corporate incubator company- Innohub, a technology driven company that specializes in taking ideas from concept to the market while creating breakthrough solutions for business challenges using emerging technologies. The forum brought together top and mid-level managers who are block chain experts from companies in Europe, United States of America (USA) and Kenya for a joint conference.

Through the forum, different block chain ecosystem players in the industry shared their knowledge and ideas on block chain knowledge, cybersecurity, digital currencies, government regulations and the various potential areas of investment.

Speaking during the opening session @iLabAfrica Director Dr. Joseph Sevilla said that he was pleased with the partnership with Innohub in hosting the conference while also acknowledging the importance of block chain technologies in modern times and its relevance to the work of @ILabAfrica of nurturing students in the areas of technology while providing solutions to industry and government institutions.

“Block chain brings new innovations and technology and it is one of the new technologies which are important to Africa, in Kenya in particular it will help young people develop and grow their skills. @iLabAfrica we have been involved in block chain development in the past where we worked with the Kenya Education Network Trust (KENET) in the development of a program to detect fake certificates which is used during enrollment to universities and by employers seeking to verify new recruits’ credentials” said Dr. Sevilla.

Dr. Sergii Nikolayev, the Chief Research and Development Officer at Innohub made a presentation on Blockchain Ecosystem Solutions for Government and Business demonstrating how different players in the economy can be able to adopt the new technology for their advantage while improving integrity, authenticity and transparency.

“Block chain systems come with unique processing centers for digital assets, virtual goods and processing of product tracking which can be implemented in E-money systems, real estate, trading systems for oil, gas, healthcare, agriculture and management of gift cards, and the good thing in blockchain is that the proprietor is always in full control of activities within the system” said Dr. Nikolayev.

During the panel session, Maureen Gate- Cyber Security Professional at @iLabAfrica challenged industry players in the block chain industry to localize their language and increase utilization of the technology so as to attract more young people towards adopting and identifying with the technology for its local growth in the country.

The recent surge in and subsequent collapse of the value of Bitcoin has brought renewed attention to the blockchain architecture that underpins digital currencies. However, blockchain’s uses go far beyond virtual money. The technology could change the way that ownership, privacy, uncertainty and collaboration are conceived of in the digital world, disrupting sectors and practices as diverse as financial markets, content distribution, supply chain management, the dispersal of humanitarian aid and even voting in a general election.

@iLabafrica had earlier in the year signed an MoU with Innohub Group based Abu Dhabi with the aim of providing trainings on block chain technology to technical students from Strathmore University to read more click here

About Innohub

Innohub is an Abu Dhabi based company with an R&D center in the heart of Europe. Since 2015 we have been developing digital products and providing consulting services to our clients on Blockchain and AI technologies. We prioritize on helping businesses and governments to streamline their daily core-operations with technological and digital solutions in Blockchain and AI technologies.

Israeli Centre to work with Strathmore on Agriculture, Finance innovations

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The Milken Innovation Center in Israel has entered into an agreement with Strathmore University’s Research and Innovation Centre, @iLabAfrica to develop, monitor, review and implement a Kenyan Development Lab that will offer training, student fellowships and jointly secure fundable projects that address existing gaps in agriculture and finance sectors.

Milken center is based at the Jerusalem Institute and focuses on developing market-based solutions to Israel’s greatest challenges as it transitions from a startup nation to a global nation.  It seeks to accelerate economic growth, build human capital while addressing global challenges in water, food, education, health, and energy with solutions that others can replicate.

The partnership between the two Innovation Centers is expected to benefit students & scholars from both institutions through capacity building and knowledge exchange. Students from Strathmore University will be enrolled into Milken Innovation Center’s 3-credit graduate course on Financial Innovations for Economic Development taught at the Hebrew University’s School of Business, the course will nurture the learners with relevant knowledge and prepare them for development projects in the country. The students will also have an opportunity to enroll for the Global Development Practice Fellowship Program which will impart them with relevant skills to steer development activities beyond their home countries.

Speaking during the event, the Director and Senior Fellow/Founder at Milken Innovation Center- Professor Glenn Yego said that the center remains committed to working with leading institutions across the world for mutual benefits in addressing societal problems.

“I am delighted to sign a partnership agreement between Milken Innovation Center and @iLabAfrica Research Centre, partnerships between research centers are fundamental, and that is why our institution strives to work in cooperation with leading organizations around the world. We look forward to a productive relationship with the @iLabAfrica Research Centre, and with the Strathmore University Network,” said Prof. Glenn.

Milken Innovation Center will further support Strathmore University in the Co-designing and implementation of project development labs in Kenya on pressing issues such as agricultural innovations, water solutions among other challenges as identified by local country stakeholders.

@iLabAfrica Director Dr. Joseph Sevilla said that the agreement was good for staff and students at both institutions and that it was instrumental in promoting research and innovation.

“It is important to identify that the agreement we are signing today is built on the confidence springing from the efforts of colleagues at both our centers. These early steps have focused on the development of interdisciplinary research, student commitment and association with Industry” said Dr. Sevilla.

The deal is aimed at accelerating economic growth, growing skills and cementing Israel’s role as a pioneer in addressing global challenges in water, food, education, health, and energy with solutions that other countries can adopt and implement.

This new agreement builds on @iLabAfrica’s decade-old commitment to Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with the deal set to stimulate growth in the areas of agriculture and finance.

About Jerusalem Institute Milken Innovation Center

The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Milken Innovation Center focuses on developing market-based solutions to Israel’s greatest challenges as it transitions from a startup nation to a global nation. Our work leads to innovative policies and programs and financial technology transfer that democratize capital, finance ideas, create jobs, and accelerate economic growth.

The Blum Lab for Developing Economies is part of the global network of Blum Centers for Developing Economies based at the University of California (UC-Berkeley) enabling interdisciplinary problem-solving in key areas of energy, health, technology, food, water, health, and other challenges to sustainable development.

Strathmore takes part in KIPPRA annual conference

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The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) held its annual conference this week with this year’s theme being Science, Technology and Innovation in Enhancing Delivery of the Big Four Development Agenda.

Strathmore University through its research and innovation hub @iLabAfrica took part in the conference as this year’s theme clearly resonates with the sections mandate of promoting technology based solutions to modern challenges in all sectors of the economy.

Through its presentations, the University demonstrated how it was providing an enabling environment while building capacity for its students and partners in research, innovation and technology.

Leonard Mabele, an Internet of Things (IoT) expert at @iLabAfrica made a presentation titled deploying IoT beyond cities through innovative broadband networks- the opportunity of white TV spaces. The presentation sought to showcase the importance of having a robust network coverage in many areas and how it helps in integrating technology to all.

“The basic premise and goal of IoT is simply connecting the unconnected, through having the physical world being integrated into some communication technologies and bringing more value in terms of efficiency, automation and convenience through applications such as smart cars, smart energy, smart parking, banking among other services” said Mr. Mabele.

In his presentation, Mr. Mabele pointed out that much focus had been placed towards enhancing IoT infrastructure and facilities in major cities and towns despite the fact that rural areas hold the larger populations and has a huge potential of scaling up technology extent.

“Sectors such as agriculture, off grid energy use, transportation and rural healthcare are huge in rural areas and stand out as huge blocks for IoT deployment beyond major cities” said Mr. Mabele.

Mr. Mabele further showcased how agriculture, being a big economic sector in the country needed a more technological approach to aid in more production and smart approaches and that IoT can be utilized to come up with programs that would see farmers in rural areas getting sensors to better understand soil moistures, weather parameters and interactions with irrigation systems.

Richard Otolo, an IT security research leader at @iLabAfrica also made a presentation at the forum acknowledging that the big four agenda of food security, manufacturing, health and housing all needed well protected networks because a slight hitch in their systems can be detrimental to their success.

According to the University representatives, technology, research and innovation remains a priority in the institution and is aimed at solving major community and industrial challenges with a variety of projects already implemented in manufacturing, health and agriculture in collaboration with industry players.

University researcher offers insights on digitalized medical approaches

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The Rector (Vice Chancellor) of Obuda University in Hungary, Professor Habil Levente Kovács visited Strathmore University on the 23rd of June 2021, in a visit that was aimed at getting into a collaborative agreement between the two institutions in areas of Information Communication Technology, Research and Innovation.

In his visit, Prof. Kovács gave a public lecture to staff and students at Strathmore titled Cyber-Medical Systems as a Digitalized Medical Approach, a product of Obuda University’s Research, Innovation and Service Center under the Physiological Controls Research Center.

The University head detailed how times were changing rapidly and the need to incorporate digital aspects of modern times in the medical field so as to help communities and patients while also boosting performance in the area.

“Digitization is spreading all over in the world and it gives us as engineers and researchers’ new areas of research for purposes of problem solving especially in medical research facilities” said Prof. Kovács.

Prof. Kovács further compared the industrial revolution in other industries with that in the medical field, citing that while other industries in leading Technology countries such as United States of America, Germany and China were mostly using Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) which merges the real and virtual world, the medical field was lagging behind in digitalization of health care systems and application of healthcare information technologies.

In the evolution of medical knowledge and equipment, Prof. Kovács said that healthcare systems in most countries were centered on episodic healthcare, lack of integrated care networks and poor coordination of chronic care management among other challenges which contribute to poor performance of the sector.

In the evolution to integrated healthcare delivery systems, hospitals and health institutions would enjoy patient/person care centered systems, aligned incentives for wellness, integrated networks with community resources wrap around, patient & provider interaction through E-health and E-learning resources which aid in better treatment among other advantages in accountability and rapid deployment of best practices.

“In Hungary, we are working on a health digitization project through the Artificial pancreas Project which tries to address Diabetes and the Tamed cancer Project for persons ailing with Cancer” said Prof. Kovács.

In a look at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected adoption of technology in the medical field, Prof. Kovács explained that before the pandemic, people were more focused on physical visits to Doctors and getting advice. After the pandemic, there has been an increase in health monitoring through mobile apps, virtual services and house delivery of medicine to patients which clearly demonstrates the need for implementation of technology in health care systems.

Speaking during the event @iLabAfrica Director Dr. Joseph Sevilla said that the lecture was important to Strathmore as it gave them a glimpse of what was happening at Obuda University in terms of Information Technology, Research and Innovation for purposes of implementing same approaches at Strathmore University.

The adoption of Technology, Research and Innovation elements remains the way to go for the medical field just like it has happened in other industries with great efficiency and ease of operations.

Hungarian Minister visits Strathmore, delivers public lecture on ICT and automation

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The Hungarian minister for Innovation and Technology H.E Professor László Palkovics visited Strathmore University on the 25th of June 2021 alongside other academic partners from his country and later gave a public lecture to staff and students at the University on the Development Environment and Industrial aspects of Autonomous Machines in Hungary.

In his address Prof. Palkovics explained how Hungary was implementing technology towards solving modern challenges in all sectors of the economy and how it has impacted in the economic growth of the country while placing it as a leading technological hub in the continent and globally alongside other big countries.

The lecture was build around the thematic areas of industrial production, the challenges and opportunities of Information Communication Technologies (ICT), 5G network as a catalyst for innovation, automotive mobility and the growth & significance of Artificial Intelligence.

“The industrial revolution has changed how things are done in many ways, some countries and people have been against the launch of the 5G network but it is very important in the transformation of manufacturing and ICT, the modern way of doing things is based on the use of cyber physical systems and that is the direction we are taking in Hungary” said Prof. Palkovics.

The Minister, in his teachings noted technology opens up a lot of opportunities for people amd organizations and just like other sectors, ICT faces major challenges currently and in future with the main challenges being the collection of big data, adaptivity & robustness, efficiency, privacy, security of data which will always be areas of concern going forward.

Speaking after the event, attending Kenyan Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Mrs Mulili thanked the Hungarian government for having an interest towards improving Kenyas technological advancement through partnerships and support, saying that her Ministry remains committed towards implementing more ICT projects.

“As a Ministry we remain focused on improving access to technology and internet connectivity for our people in the country, we have been increasing fiber optic coverage in the country and more recently we launched a youth program called Ajira Digital where the youth can have access to online opportunities” said Mrs Mulili.

The ICT sector is a fast changing environment and new developments happen every day, Prof. Palkovics challenged the Kenyan authorities and institutions to work hard in the fast paced environment, create more research and innovation hubs which will help increase on the gains already achieved in the sector.

The public forum was attended by Strathmore Vice Chancellor Designate Dr. Vincent Ogutu (VC-D) Ambassador of Hungary to Kenya, H.E Zsolt Mészáros, Administrative Secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Mrs Lucy Mulili, Rector of Obuda University Professor Habil Levente Kovács, the Rector-University of Pécs Dr. Attila Miset among others.

Strathmore and Óbuda University sign pact to boost academia through technology

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From Left to Right Standing- Dr. Joseph Sevilla-Director @iLabAfrica, Mrs Lucy Mulili- Administrative Secretary Kenyan Ministry of ICT, H.E Prof. László Palkovics- Hungarian Minister for Innovation and Technology, H.E Zsolt Mészáros- Ambassador of Hungary to Kenya.
From Left to Right Seated: Dr. Vincent Ogutu- Strathmore University VC-Designate and Prof. Habil Levente Kovács-Rector of Óbuda University

Strathmore University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with leading Hungarian University – Óbuda towards promoting knowledge sharing, research and innovation in the areas of technology.

In the deal inked on the 25th of June 2021 at Strathmore University grounds by host Vice Chancellor Designate (VC-D) Dr. Vincent Ogutu and his Óbuda counterpart Professor Habil Levente Kovács, students and members of staff from both institutions will be able to travel and participate in similar exchange programs for purposes of pursuing academic courses, research and training in the areas of technical and scientific sciences.

Speaking during the event, Strathmore University VC-Designate Dr. Ogutu lauded the partnership between the two institutions, terming it as an initiative that would be beneficial to both students and staff towards adapting to the requirements of the modern world.

“This initiative will be very good to both universities, I understand the impact it will have to our students in terms of exposure because I was part of a similar initiative in the past when I went to study at the United states of America, I look forward to the exchange programs in the areas of technology which is one of the most sought after sector in the present market globally” said Dr. Ogutu.

The director for @iLabAfrica- Research and Innovation Centre, Strathmore University Dr. Joseph Sevilla, acknowledged the existence of good ties between Kenya and Hungary as being instrumental towards the creation of good working partnerships between institutions from both countries with @iLabAfrica having previously partnered with Hungarian firm ACPM IT and BCK Kenya in the setting up of a Security Operations Centre for monitoring Cybersecurity issues affecting businesses which has been doing well.

“We are glad to having good working relationships with Hungarian government and firms in the country, in the new agreement with Óbuda University, we celebrate the arrangements which will see the setting up of a Hungary Kenyan Development Centre which will work towards providing students from both institutions with industry relevant knowledge on software development and application development for all markets” said Dr. Sevilla.

The visiting dons reiterated the existence of similarities between Kenya and Hungary with both countries committed to technological advancements which will be the drivers of the next industrial revolution.

“We are happy to partner with @iLabAfrica – Strathmore University as an academic and development partner towards knowledge sharing and creating a collaborative approach for research that will provide skilled professionals with modern technological solutions for the markets” said Prof. Levente Kovács.

Others present during the event were the Hungarian Minister for Innovation and Technology, H.E Prof. László Palkovics, Ambassador of Hungary to Kenya, H.E Zsolt Mészáros, Administrative Secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Mrs Lucy Mulili, the Rector-University of Pécs Dr. Attila Miseta and the International director for Debrecen University Dr. Attila Jenei.

ABOUT

@iLabAfrica Centre-Strathmore University – is a Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovation and Development at Strathmore University. The Centre spearheads Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology for the Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to contribute toward Kenya’s Vision 2030. The research Centre is involved in interdisciplinary research, students’ engagement and has partnered with over 800 institutions (Universities, NGOs, foundations, and government) worldwide and other funding agencies.