On the morning of 13th June 2014, thirty students of the Safaricom Academy, graduating class of 2012 brazed the cold and wet July weather and rush-hour morning traffic to make their way to the Michael Joseph Centre for a very important occasion. The pre-graduation ceremony is a prestigious gala event that every scholar in the Academy looks forward to attend. The ceremony marks the end of a journey as a student in the Safaricom Academy and the beginning of a new journey as highly skilled graduate in mobile telecommunications and innovation. It is where outstanding students are recognized and awarded, where new and innovative apps are revealed and where Strathmore and Safaricom come together to appreciate the achievement of the Safaricom Academy.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Sevilla, the director @iLabAfrica observed that Safaricom has continued to advanced innovation in Kenya since the advent of M-Pesa. Now through the Safaricom Academy and other programs such as the Safaricom App Wiz Competition, there number of apps with relevant local content is increasing exponentially.
“It gives me great joy to see how far the Safaricom Academy has grown, from the 10 students it had in 2010. I am very proud of the partnership between Strathmore University and Safaricom”. These were the sentiments of Bob Collymore the CEO of Safaricom LTD when speaking at the pre-graduation ceremony.
Prof. Izael Da Silva echoed Collymore’s sentiments noting that together with Safaricom, Strathmore is raising a lot of “good dust” in the innovation space in Kenya. He noted mobile apps have become part of everyday life, from getting the latest lyrics and full information about a song you hear in the matatu at to keeping up with to the minute updates of the latest in the World Cup at the touch of a button. Prof. Izael encouraged the graduates to embrace humility even as they become great tech entrepreneurs or leaders in the corporate world, urging that they should strive to use skills and expertise gained for the common good.
It was also a time to award outstanding students who at that were all awarded with Certificates and goodie bags from Safaricom. Veronicah Ogeto, head of Innovation at Safaricom also rewarded the top four students with the latest Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones (This phone comes bundled with the Kenya Law Application, developed at @iLabAfrica under the Samsung-Strathmore “Built for Africa” research and development lab). The awards were as follows:
- Kenga Musoti- best mobile application (male category)- Kenga developed an application that helps police collect data at accident scenes.
- Fatma Khalid balala- best mobile application (female category)- Fatma developed a utility app for students in the university that helps access vital information in campus as well as plan daily life in campus.
- Lorna Mutegi- best overall student.
- Mosese Weda-best dissertation.