@ilabAfrica was this week pleased to host Professor Tierra Bills an Assistant Professor and Michigan Society Fellow in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Bills was visiting to give a lecture on, An Electronic Travel Data Collection Tool for Nairobi Kenya with the ultimate goal of designing Smarter Transportation solutions for rapidly developing African cities.
Like many other African cities, Nairobi is now grappling with the challenges of rapid urbanization. Kenya’s population has increased by 55% over the last decade, and this combined with significant rural-to-urban migration in Kenya has resulted in critical stress on Nairobi’s limited transportation infrastructure.
To mitigate these transportation issues, Nairobi County Government had proposed a plan for (formalized) mass public transportation across the region. The challenge is the lack of adequate transportation data for investigating travel preferences of Nairobi travelers.
For Nairobi, there is currently no on-going data collection system or periodic program effort to investigate the activity-based travel behaviors of Nairobi residents. This can significantly constrain the ability Nairobi transportation planners to investigate (via scenario analysis and forecasting) transportation solutions that will address Nairobi’s multimodal transportation needs.
To gather enough data Dr. Bills is working with a team of Kenyan students (software development and computer science) to design, prototype, and test an electronic and multi-source travel data collection tool.
The preliminary data collected with this tool will be used to refine the data collection tool for future region-wide travel studies in Nairobi, Kenya. Further, this tool would be a significant contribution to researchers and planners interested in implementing data-driven transportation policies and traffic solutions in African as well as other developing cities. Given that such a transportation data collection tool has not been developed for Kenya before, there are many interesting research questions involved with this project.
This project will require students focusing on the following areas: • SMS frontend application • Android front end application among others.
The data collected from such initiatives would be used to estimate (the first) activity based travel demand model for the Nairobi region. In addition to generating a dataset for these modeling purposes, a parallel objective would be to distill a general framework for delivering reliable travel survey data using a hybrid of electronic data collection sources. This hybrid approach could then be replicated for other African and developing cities.
Professor Tierra Bills Bio is working on the project in collaboration for Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director @iLabAfrica – Strathmore University.
Dr. Tierra Bills. Dr. Bills is an Assistant Professor and Michigan Society Fellow in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. She has recently joined the department (in Fall 2016) after spending 3 years as a Research Scientist at IBM Research Africa. While in Kenya, Dr. Bills also lectured at Strathmore University’s iLabAfrica and taught MTI 8203 Research Methodology for Application Development. Much of Dr. Bills’ research focuses on investigating the social impacts of transportation projects.
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Nairobi Tech Week is Back!
iBizAfrica together with Moringa School is excited to host the 3rd Edition of Nairobi Tech Week, Sub Saharan Africa’s largest tech event, whose aim is to bring all actors and influencers in the tech ecosystem in one space, fostering conversations and learning around various relevant technology-related topics.
The event will be taking place from Thursday 19th April to Saturday 21st April 2018 at iBizAfrica, Strathmore University. This year’s theme will be “The Role of Technology in Problem Solving for Africa’s Future.”
Nairobi Tech Week presents a 3-day event packed with panel discussions, workshops and a hackathon with incredible prizes to be won.
“Our aim is to launch a community-driven tech event focused on developers, thought leaders within the tech space as well as the best innovations in Sub Saharan Africa” says Sandra Mukidza, NTW’s main event organiser.
For the first time, Nairobi Tech Week will host Nairobi Tech week Awards, in a bid to recognise companies playing influential roles and driving impact within Silicon Savannah.
The title sponsor this year is Microsoft , other sponsors include Visa, Facebook, Safaricom JUMO, Github, Liquid Telecom, Google and iBiz Africa-Strathmore University.
Several key organisations have come forward to partner with Nairobi Tech Week; iHub, Africa’s Talking, Swahili Box, AngelHack, M-Power, CBO and Metta. In previous years Nairobi Tech Week has had global title sponsors like Facebook and Twitter
Applications for Nairobi Tech Week opened on March 19th 2018 as well as nominations for the Tech Week Awards.
For more information contact Bernard on email@example.com
Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga today received a tablet from @iLabAfrica and Samsung. The CJ described the Samsung note 10.1 2014 edition as a key tool for judges and magistrates owing to the fact that it comes bundled with the Kenya Law Reports (KLR) app developed at @iLabAfrica. The KLR app is exclusively available for Samsung android devices and is downloadable for free on the Samsung app store. The app is a rich resource for Kenya law reports and other legal publications including the constitution, Kenya Gazette, laws of Kenya and the Judicial calendar.
The device was presented to the CJ in his office in the presence of Dr. Joseph Sevilla the director of @iLabAfrica, Patricia King’ori a senior manager at Samsung and Longet Terer the CEO and editor of the Regional Council of Law Reporting.
@iLabAfrica and Samsung launched the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) app on the 28th of April 2014. The app was launched at Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board offices on Lenana Road in a press conference.
The PPB app comes bundled with rich features that will safeguard Kenyan’s from counterfeit drugs as well as provide access to other vital information regarding drugs, pharmacists and other pharmaceutical professionals.
Using the PPB application one will be able to:
- Access a list of all registered pharmacists and other pharmaceutical professionals
- Access a database of all registered human and veterinary drugs and other drug information such as prescription, reaction and dosage.
- Report suspected poor quality/counterfeit medicinal products. One can also report a suspected adverse drug reaction.
- Search for chemists and pharmacies within a certain radius.
- Plot the map and directions, also displays the official contacts.
The application also enables you to provide feedback and contact the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board. It is currently available for Android on the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board website. It will be coming soon on the Samsung App Store.
PPB app is a shot in the arm as the Kenya PPB continues to fight rising cases of counterfeit and substandard drugs in the country.
The Kenya Law Reports app is now available on the Samsung App store.The Kenya Law app provides a wealth of information on the laws of Kenya (including the constitution), judicial opinion, Kenya Gazette, key legislation and cause list. The application was developed at @iLabAfrica under the Samsung Built for Africa Research Project. Download the app here.
It is now four years since @iLabAfrica partnered with Samsung Electronics for research and development work on making Samsung products that are relevant for the African market. Samsung Electronics has moved aggressively into this space, quickly becoming a market leader in electronic and mobile devices. Under the research theme “Built for Africa”, @iLabAfrica has been helping the tech giant develop products attractive to consumers in the African market, especially through product research and mobile apps development.
Six mobile applications were launched at a demo dubbed “Samsung Show and Tell” in the Samsung research lab at @iLabAfrica on the 18th February 2014. All the applications launched had local relevance, meaning they would be useful to Kenya mobile apps consumers. They included:
- Christian Church App– the Christian Church App is useful for keeping tabs with church proceedings, downloading sermons and viewing personal contributions to church activities.
- Michezo– this application provides users with information on local sports event. The app is customizable to any sport with league tables, player profiles, news feed and social commentary. With this app, sports fans can utilize a maps functionality to find directions to match and tournament venues.
- Kitoweo– Kitoweo is a crowd-sourced recipe directory that encourages users to share recipes of African dishes with friends.
- Kenya Law Reports– a rich source of Kenya law reports and publications. The KLR app can be used by layers or citizens to access a legal publications and the Kenyan constitution with great ease. Publications in this app include the Kenya Gazette, Laws of Kenya, Key Legislation and the Judicial Calendar.
- SBS Application– the SBS application is a custom mobile app for the Strathmore Business Schools. Using this application, Strathmore Business School scholars can enjoy a full learning experience using a tablet. It provides for access to e-learning resources, assignments, notes and course cases, announcements and news. The applications also has a digital rights management system to safeguard distribution of copyrighted material, assignment reminders and a booked room viewing facility to help learners schedule group meetings and classes.
- Pharmacy and Poisons Board App– The application helps users access a wealth of information regarding medication as well report and give feedback to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. Some of the features include access to lists of registered pharmacists, pharmaceutical technologists and representatives. Other key features are a search function to locate nearby pharmacies and a reporting functionality to raise alarm on suspected poor quality and counterfeit medication as well as suspected drug overdose reaction.
The launch was attended by among other guests Samsung’s COO East Africa Robert Ngeru. He noted the vast opportunities for developers in Kenya to have a stake in the 500 million plus subscribers of the Samsung app store. The director of @iLabAfrica Dr. Joseph Sevilla observed that mobile apps development is now the new trend for self-employment, citing the example of flappy bird, a recent mobile game that took the world by storm. The game was developed by a Vietnamese developer in about 3 days and earned him $50,000 a day.
The mobile apps launched are available for download on the Samsung App Store. @iLabAfrica is keen on continuing to develop and deploy apps that are consumer-driven to provide value for the users on the Samsung app store.
@iLabAfrica has been in collaboration with Samsung Electronics for research and mobile application development. There will be a launch event for some of the applications developed under this collaboration as follows:
Date: 18th Feb 2014
Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Applications to be launched:
- Find A Doc
- Christian Church App
- Kenya Law Reports
- SBS Application
- Pharmacy and Poisons Board App