Digikids: The Kids Technology Event that Was…

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The August Holiday Tech Camp by Digikids was held between August 15, 2016 to August 19, 2016 at @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University, Nairobi. The one-week digital literacy tech camp aimed at empowering children between the age of 7 to 16 years to become creators with technology.

The children over the course of the week went through an intensive hands-on training on Coding, Robotics and Internet Safety. They were engaged in a fun and creative manner, captivating their young minds through games and simplified problem solving.

The training programs offered continuous modular training based on the age of the student and especially their knowledge, skills and interests in technology. Internet Safety and Security were core lessons of the program as they were brought down to a level that the children could understand.

In the first age group i.e between age 7 to 9, fun tools were used to introduce electronics and robotics to children and guide them to create simple programs following precise steps. The aim in this foundation stage was to create in the young minds an interest in technology as a creative tool. They learnt what algorithms are, debugging simple programs following step-by-step instructions, develop logical reasoning skills and use devices to create, organize, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.

The children in the intermediate age group (Age 10 to 12) were equipped with a firm grasp of computer science concepts, giving them a deeper understanding of designing and writing code. Through this they were able to develop their logical reasoning skills and learn to use websites and other Internet services.

The teenagers in the final group (Age 13 to 16) were challenged by deeper computational thinking and creation of more complex programs. They were taught to use programming languages to create their own applications and games. They learnt simple Boolean logic, working with Binary numbers and studied how computer hardware and software work together to create robots.

The August Holiday Tech Camp was very beneficial to the children as the introductory courses suited and benefited even children with no prior computer skills. The small class sizes focused on the individual needs of the students and incremental learning created a better understanding and retention of material learnt over the course of the week. By the end of the intensive training each of the children received a certificate.

To view more photos on this event please visit this link.


Invitation: Public Lecture by University of Cambridge Researchers on DigiTally, an Offline Mobile Payments Solution

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Strathmore University-@iLabAfrica is working on a research project with the University of Cambridge to test the Usability of an Offline Mobile Payment Solution dubbed ‘DigiTally’. This is a mobile payment service that does not require network connectivity and has no transaction fees.
As part of this research, the developer of the DigiTally software is willing to train iLab staff and students (developers) on the technology behind DigiTally. DigiTally software uses Taisys overlay SIMS programmed in Javacard, so it’s best the trainees have experience of this or are familiar with Java. Those interested can send me an email.
Also, the team from Cambridge will give a Public Lecture on Monday , 29th August 2016 at 2.00 pm,  the Venue: MSB 6, Strathmore University.
Topic : Can we redesign mobile payments to deal with poor networks and cut transaction fees? The team will also demo the DigiTally software.
To attend the Public Lecture, kindly Click Here.

Ripoti App: Helping you Report Violation of Human Rights / Torture

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In the past few months, IMLU (Independent Medico-Legal Unit) in conjunction with @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University has been working on developing a mobile App for reporting/documenting any human rights/torture related violations committed by state agents. The App has the ability to capture pictures, audio and video recordings on real time basis and from your archive/gallery.

We are launching a pilot test for the App running for two weeks from 24th Aug -10th Sept 2016 and we would like you, our community, to be part of this important process. The purpose for this is to test the App behavior  in this environment as well as identify possible areas of improvement in order to ensure that the App runs as efficiently as possible.

You can download the app from Google Play store and install it on any of your android device i.e. phone, tablets etc. The name of the app is Ripoti.


@iBizAfrica-Safaricom Foundation Technology for Good Initiative

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Mobile Technology for Public Benefit

Mobile communications technology has quickly become the world’s most common way of transmitting voice, data, and services in the developing world. They hold significant potential for advancing development. At the heart of our foundation is the belief that technology can address some of the Kenya’s most pressing social and economic challenges. Our responsibility and strategy is to utilize our innovative technology in mobilizing social change to improving people’s lives by supporting the development and deployment of mobile technologies that achieve social impact.

The Goal and Expected Results

The overarching goal is to improve the social and economic well-being of Kenyans through the use of mobile technology.

Mobile communications technology has quickly become the world’s most common way of transmitting voice, data, and services in the developing world. They hold significant potential for advancing development. At the heart of the Safaricom Foundation is the belief that technology can address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.

Areas of Focus

The Foundation intends to fund qualifying organizations/institutions, individuals and businesses that demonstrate innovations that are in line with the Foundation’s strategic areas of focus,which can be found here. The proposed Technology for Good projects will use any or all facets of technology i.e. text, voice, data, apps etc., and helplines. This innovations should address the following criteria:

  • Social impact /People focus– The project has Kenyan people as the key focus. It articulates exactly what the changes will be in their lives and in the long term
  • Needs Based/Evidence informed – The project articulates very well the social need that will be addressed; It is evidence informed – either through surveys or desktop reviews.
  • Innovation and Technology – The project clearly demonstrates unique innovation; how different to do things. There is evidence use of mobile technology. There is evidence of the required capacity and competences within the team to deliver the product.
  • Scale (number of beneficiaries) – The project demonstrates the potential to benefit a large number of people when it is completed
  • Strategic link to Safaricom Foundation – The project fits very well with the Foundation’s strategic areas of focus and any of the partnership models.
  • Sustainability – The innovation must demonstrate how the project continues to operate and benefit many Kenyans beyond the funding. The overall approach will be to have the project sustainable beyond donor funding.

Who can apply?

The Foundation will consider applications from individuals, national and community based non-governmental, faith based and civil society organizations; academic and research institutions; innovation hubs and the private sector. Click here to download the form. Send the completed form to thefoundation@safaricom.co.ke.


The Application process closes on 31st August 2016. Please ensure that you have read the Terms and conditions. You can Download application guidelines here.

The story was first published in the Safaricom Website
Image source: Internet

Vote for MechLynk to Win +254 Rising Challenge

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4 Safaricom Academy students, Maurice Wachihi, Thuo Njoroge, Nancy Gakii and Lawrence Magerer pursuing Masters in Mobile Telecommunication and Innovation are among the last five teams shortlisted to compete in the +254rising finals.

The students developed MechLynk, a platform built to link Mechanics with individuals whose cars breakdown in areas where it would be inconvenient to contact their personal mechanics. Vote here for MechLynk to be the winners of this challenge.

The winner of this prestigious competition will be selected by a panel of judges and through votes cast by the audience. Interested individuals can join the live audience through a live-stream at  254rising or  254risingFacebook  where they can cast their votes. Anyone who is free to attend the event can book a ticket to iHub  through  254rising.

+254 Rising is an startup pitch competition organized by Affinis Labs and hosted by iHub in Nairobi to highlight new African entrepreneurs & startups. Kenyan entrepreneurs have embodied a core value of entrepreneurship: empowerment. And for every rising entrepreneur, there are thousands of other youth with the potential to build businesses, create jobs, and help their communities. The challenges are great, but the potential is greater.

To learn more about MechLynk team, please follow them on  Twitter and Facebook .

To get updates on what we are up to follow @iLabAfrica on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook.


East Africa Open Data Fest: Open Sustainable Development Data

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Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica Research Centre, in collaboration with the Africa Open Data Conference (AODC) have the pleasure of inviting you to the East Africa Open Data Festival (EAODF) 2016. The event will take place from 17th -18th August at Strathmore Business School(SBS).

The EAODF event seeks to provide a platform where people, civil society, journalists, and the private sector can engage in a public dialog on the power of open data to transform our communities, governments, and businesses. All of us can lead, partner, and work together to collect, publish, and share open data resources to drive sustainable development. Data is an untapped resource that can generate tremendous economic opportunity. It can open up trade, improve agricultural production, reduce hunger and poverty,make service delivery more efficient, empower women, and help us all prepare forclimate change.

AODC Mission

Open data is new name given to a timeless concept: it is information accessible by anyone. Open data is a growing global resource with potential to grow business, improve quality of government service, and increase innovation in healthcare, education, transportation, agriculture, gender equality.

The Africa Open Data Community is a convening space for tech industry, small businesses, journalists, civic tech, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, IT solution providers, banks, telcoms, insurance companies, NGO’s, donor organizations, and local and national governments to connect virtually and in person to share advances in open data, share lessons, and form new collaborations.  We seek a transparent, open dialogue and concrete action on common challenges and shared solutions for communities and partners across Africa.Open data can generate jobs, build business confidence, make government more transparent, and revitalize communities.

Guest Speakers

  1. CS Joseph Mucheru – Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Kenya
  2.  Dr. Korir Sing’oei – Legal Advisor, Executive Office of the Deputy President of Kenya
  3. Mr. Zachary Mwangi, Director General, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics
  4. Dr. Bitange Ndemo – Senior Lecturer, School of Business at University of Nairobi,Kenya
  5. Sanjeev Khagram – United Nations Global Partnership for Sustainable Development  Data
  6. Larry Sperling – United States Department of State, PEPFAR and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
  7. Dr. Lungo Juma – Tanzania Data Lab
  8. Nkechi Okwuone – Open Data Edo State, Nigeria
  9. Nanjira Sambuli – Media Policy Research Centre Trust

For more details about this event, please visit here.

To get updates on what we are up to follow @iLabAfrica on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook.

Image Source: Internet

Internet Safety Bootcamp by DigiKids

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Digikids has partnered with @iLabAfrica to bring you various bootcamps that will be focused on training children in digital literacy that will enable them to create technology that works for them, their communities and the world at every stage of their lives and have fun while doing it

Today’s world is dominated by technology and software is its language. This trend can only grow in the future where technology will permeate every aspect of life. Digital literacy is the next-gen literacy and computational thinking is the next-gen thinking of the tech rock stars of the future. The future belongs to those who know how to use this language as creators and innovators to shape the world.

Digikids achieves this goal through:

  • Developing computational thinking as a technique for logical thinking and problem solving
  • Teaching coding as a tool for creating innovative solutions though fun and easy to learn visual programming languages
  • Sensitization on how to interact with technology, especially the internet, safely and securely
  • Encouraging hardware invention through easy to use littlebits™ electronic building blocks that use magnetic circuits to create thousands of projects.

Internet Safety for Kids
Digikids has partnered with (ISC)2 Kenya Chapter to build a strong information security culture in our students to enable them become responsible digital citizens. Our internet safety and security education lessons are incorporated into each of our programs so as to bring cyber security information down to a level that children can understand. The training teaches children how to protect themselves online and become responsible digital citizens which allows them to feel comfortable visiting their favorite websites and playing their most challenging online games.

August Bootcamp.

Digikids will be running a bootcamp @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University from 15th to 19th August where students will learn various things including:-

  • Coding of mobile apps and games
  • Hardware and Robotics
  •  Problem Solving Skills
  • Logical & Computational Thinking
  •  Web design
  •  3D animation
  •  Child Online Protection (internet safety for kids


Follow @iLabAfrica on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook.

The information was first published on the digikids website.