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@iLabAfrica partners with VMware International Ltd to Enhance Digital Skills in Africa

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Today at the Innovating Education In Africa Expo 2019, held in Botswana VMware international Ltd announced the expansion of the VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa programme.

As part of its expansion, VMware announced a Memorandum of Understanding between VMware International Ltd and Strathmore University – @iLabAfrica Centre, Kenya.

The overarching goal is to empower the fast-growing, young African population to enter the digital workforce with confidence and expertise, helping to address the skills gap and
supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent.
Through the VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa programme, we are collaborating with key stakeholders across academia, government and industry to equip African students with the technical skills and certifications required to succeed in the digital economy.
Strathmore University in Kenya has built an international reputation for its world-class
academic teaching, professional training, and research in technology. Working with VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa, the University has already begun integrating a range of VMware developed courses into its curricula that cover topics such as virtualisation, cloud computing, AI and IoT. This is facilitated through subsidised software licenses and certification vouchers from VMware.
@iLabAfrica, a Centre of Excellence in Research and Innovation in Information
Communication Technology at the University, is spearheading the rollout with 20 trainers and over 100 students at the University participating. The students will benefit from access to high-quality learning online resources, hands-on lab experiences to develop technical skills, and the opportunity to achieve industry-recognised VMware certification to complement their chosen fields of study.

“We are delighted to be part of VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa. It provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain technical skills and industry-recognised VMware certifications, helping to jumpstart their careers with the best knowledge and skills of international standards. Our shared goal with VMware is to become the VMware IT Academy regional lead for East Africa, training lecturers and students from Strathmore and other universities plus facilitating their participation in the programme. Increased access to this type of education and training for students is a critical part of Africa realising the potential of its youth and a prosperous Africa,” said Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University.
“Skills development is recognised as a key component for economic growth and prosperity.VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa helps educational institutions align curricula with the skills needed for the labour market, thereby building the right talent for Africa’s jobs of today and tomorrow. . Our discussions to form a strategic collaboration with Strathmore University is a significant milestone in this program, and will bring new skills and opportunities to its students, and in the future to many more young people in East Africa,”said Thomas MacKay, Senior Director for Global Strategic Programs, VMware.

Wazihub host 3rd Plenary meeting @iLabAfrica

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WaziHub held its 3rd plenary meeting @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University, Nairobi- Kenya from the 10th to 12th of July 2019. The meeting aimed at reviewing the past years accomplishments, establishing areas of improvement, planning for the set of activities and roles of each partner for the next year.

Wazihub

WAZIHUB (in Swahili for Open-Hub) is a 3-year European Union Horizon 2020 funded innovation project for Africa. The project is aimed at creating an Open Hub of IoT and Big data cutting-edge and African-grade solutions, co-designed by African people where these solutions can then be adapted to match local service needs. @iLabAfrica is one of the major partners for this project amongst a consortium of 14 technical and innovation partners.

WaziHub Project has come up with a technology known as WAZIUP. WAZIUP is a technology-driven EU-Africa project developing a fully open source (http://www.github.com/waziup) IoT end-to-end (sensors, networking and software) platform (www.waziup.io platform website), specialized to meet African needs in terms of cost, energy, internet connectivity and simplicity.

The Smart Village Model deployed in Senegal was also showcased as one of the major achievements of the project. During the meeting, the 7 startups under Wazihub in the prototyping stage received updates on their gateways in order to continue working on their solutions efficiently. Paul Imison, one of the startups from @iLabAfrica shared his innovation and recommendations for further improvement were suggested.  The plenary meeting was attended by consortium partners from Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa) and Europe (Italy, France and Germany). Dr. Abdur Rahim, who is the overall project coordinator for this project was also in attendance.

For more Information contact Margaret on mnjenga@strathmore.edu or Click here 

Visit by German members of parliament

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@ILabAfrica hosted members from the German parliament who visited Kenya to get insights into the Kenyan knowledge and technology sector.

The visit to the university was to continue the discussions on the bilateral exchange from ideas as a starting point for further cooperations.

 12 visiting parliament member were Mrs. Sybille Benning, Mr. Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, Mr. Tankred Schipanski, Mr. Dr. Karamba Diaby, Mrs. Dr. Wiebke Esdar, Mr. Norbert Kleinwächter, Mr. Dr. Jens Brandenburg, Mrs. Anke Domscheit-Berg, Mr. Kai Gehring, Mr. Andreas Meyer.

The team was pleased to learn more about the projects @iLabAfrica and @iBizAfrica as well as more inform on the projects that Strathmore University is undertaking with GIZ on solar enerygy. ” iLabAfrica is one of the most recognized and innovative organizations in Nairobi when it comes to tech innovations”Mrs. Anke Domscheit-Berg.

 

2019 Strathmore Leaders in Research and Innovation

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Award

@iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre was this year crowned leading department in research and reporting.

The Centre which 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 Kenya’s Vision 2030, was awarded the Strathmore University Research and Innovation award 2019 for demonstrating significant commitment to timeliness and quality in its reporting obligations on research activities for the year 2018 and 2019.

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@iLabAfrica Centre focuses on 4 main areas.

  • ICT research and Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship and Incubation
  • ICT Outsourcing
  • ICT Policy and Research

The Centre is involved in interdisciplinary research, student engagement and collaboration with government, industry and funding agencies.

@iLabAfrica is made up of the following research units

  • eHealth Unit
  • Cybersecurity Unit
  • Digital Learning Unit
  • Data Science Unit
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Unit
  • Outsourcing and Consulting Unit

For more information about @iLabAfrica Click Here 

 

 

 

 

THREE WINNERS UNVEILED DURING THE SHELTER TECH NAIROBI INNOVATION WEEK COMPETITION.

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Shelter Tech

@iBizAfrica- Strathmore University and Pangea Accelerator partnered with Shelter Tech Kenya, a first of its kind in Africa, is a six-month milestone-based accelerator program supporting early stage businesses and scale-ups in the affordable housing sector covering: renewable energy, waste management, housing & construction technologies and products and water & sanitation. The program is supported by Habitat for Humanity International’s Terwilliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter and implemented by BDO EA and Pangea Accelerator in partnership with @iBizAfrica, Strathmore University. These partners came together to organize a startup competition which aims to support disruptive innovation and provide a platform for growth in the urban tech space as part of the Nairobi Innovation Week 2019.

The Shelter Tech Nairobi Innovation Week competition was held on 11th of June at Metta. The competition had attracted 61 applicants. Three business start-ups were declared winners out of the ten that pitched their products and business concepts before a panel of four judges.

The three winners of the competition got an all paid opportunity to travel and pitch at Oslo Innovation Week with a goal of finding sponsors and funds to increase the size and outreach of their company as well as having a platform to gain new markets and experience in the business’ world of competition.

Present during the event was the Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya, Elin Bergithe Rognlie who acknowledged how technology has changed the way we do things and the increased role of women in creating tech-based business startups. Also present were representatives from Strathmore University, ICT Norway, Pangea Accelerator and Habitat for Humanity among others.

The three startups will have a chance to pitch at the Oslo Innovation Week in Norway later in the year.

 

The business startups that won included:

Arigiene Limited Company;

Arigiene Limited Company;

The founders, Anna Kadari is a second year Economics student at Kenyatta University and her co-founder Frank Mwakitakula is a fourth year Economic Finance Student at the same University. Their product solves the problem of toilet bowl and water splash back while also serving other purposes including absorbing bad odours and acts as a toilet freshener.

Gjenge Makers Limited

Gjenge Makers Limited

Gjenga Makers Ltd is a social enterprise based in industrial area recycling waste plastic into strong and artistically expressed construction products including paving bricks, paving tiles and hatches.

Escon Leather Creations

Escon Leather Creations

This startup company was founded by Victor Nzau, a Diploma Graduate from Animal Health and Industry Training Institute in Kabete, Nairobi.

Escon Leather Creations manages waste and discarded low grade hides and skins which are pollutants to the environment. As a value addition, they use vegetable tanning processes that are environmental friendly.

 

 

 

 

@iLabAfrica and VMware Partner to set up Training Centre for VMware Technologies.

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Image from Left to right: Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director @iLabAfrica and Mrs Everline Wangu Kamau-Migwi, VMware Channel Lead – East Africa.

VMware a global leader, cloud infrastructure and business mobility software company has partnered with @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University to set up a training Centre for VMware Technologies.

The partnership which took place last week at Strathmore University will ensure that Strathmore trains trainers on VMware technologies who in turn will train students on topics such as Introduction to Virtualization, Data Centre visualization and Cloud Computing among other VMware technologies.

The Centre will create an environment where the “virtualization first” approach will become widely known in the region and will encourage technology professionals in their institutions to interact with their counterparts in Europe and the United States to form a true global community of IT professionals knowledgeable about and favorably inclined toward VMware Virtualization First approach.

Speaking during the MOU signing Mrs Everline Wangu Kamau-Migwi, VMwareChannel Lead – East Africa mentioned “Vmware is pleased to partner with @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University and we look forward see more students embracing VMware technologies”

Participants who successfully complete the training will be awarded the VMware-Certified trainers status.

For more information about the course contact Richard on Email: ilabitsecurity@strathmore.edu

iLabAfrica team emerges 2nd Place in UN Habitat Makerthon Competition

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UN-Habitat this year organized a Makerthon event on the sidelines of the UN-Habitat Assembly held on 27th -31st May 2019 at the UN- Habitat Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya giving budding innovators a platform to make, create and showcase their innovations.

The theme of the challenge, organized by Urban Basic Services, was “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”.

Three Strathmore students, Stephen Gitahi- Group leader, Ayan Adan Keynan and Josemaria Nabangi formed the group SAJ fellows to participate in the Makerthon and emerged 2nd place with their project on Water Qualiter.

The water Qualiter project is under the Internet of Things(IoT) department, @iLabAfrica and is developed using different sensors for measuring Acidity (pH), Temperature and Turbidity (measure of suspended particles and Contaminants – especially heavy metals & discarded pharmaceuticals. Insights from the data generated from this monitoring exercise will therefore be critical in aiding on decision making of which rehabilitation or pollution control measures need to be undertaken.

The one-week challenge allowed participants such as IoT engineers, makers and designers passionate about harnessing digital connectivity to solve urban challenges in their cities and settlements. Participants were to compete and develop a prototype to solve a specific challenge out of the three urban “verticals” including:

Water Quality Monitoring A Smart drinking water quality monitoring system for households could use sensors placed in household water pipes or water storage containers for households using public standpoints. The data collected using standard water quality parameters could then be uploaded over the internet for analysis. When there is a deviation of water quality parameters from the pre-defined set of standard values, an sms-based alert could be generated by the system to warn consumers to further treat their water before drinking. The monitoring system could also be scaled up by the water utility through a centralized dashboard to regularly assess the quality of drinking water supplied to consumers.

Indoor Air Quality IoT can be used to monitor the air quality through the use of Air Quality Sensors that could be placed in either indoor setups such as kitchens or outdoor (e.g city streets, parks).The monitoring process may utilize a cloud solution to show the air quality through an AQI (Air Quality Index) measurements. Results are sent to users, decision makers and dedicated experts for appropriate actions.

Public Mobility Members of the public most often want to know when and where their Matatu is on the roads, a “Real-Time Passenger Information System” can help them plan their commute and time better with more real time information. Such a system could use sensors to know the Location of a public bus and produce a “Digital Map” to graphically show the location. A “Smart Ticketing” system may also work in tandem with such a system.

The participants underwent an intensive competition to build the minimum viable product and come up with a sustainable business and operating model to scale the solutions and present their elevator pitches at a live streamed session within the United Nations Complex in Nairobi on the final day.

The SAJ fellow team were awarded Ksh 20,000 and will continue to work on the system @iLabAfrica to enable users get a full report of the water in use hence prevent disastrous happenings in future like cholera outbreak.