Strathmore University

The Event that Was: Standard Charted-@iBizAfrica Mentorship

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 @iBizAfrica in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank held a mentorship session on 20th July 2017 at Thomas More Building, 2nd Floor, Strathmore University. This was aimed at students who wanted career guidance to steer them in the right direction. The mentor would be a reference contact in the student’s career engagement. This was also a chance for students to build a relationship with industry experts who would then walk the journey with the student/mentee.

@iBizAfrica hosted Standard Chartered’s Group Chief Information Officer (CIO), Dr. Michael Gorriz, who shared his journey and advised on how to build a career in the corporate and the business world. In addition, 50 Standard Chartered management team members were present for a mentoring session in various roles in an organization.

Peter Gitau, who is the Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered in Kenya and East Africa, hosted the event. The Standard Chartered team was taken through a tour of @iLabAfrica and @iBizAfrica incubation centre. At @iBizAfrica incubation centre, the guests were taken through a demo by Diana Martha of Purpink, one of the successful incubatees from @iBizAfrica. Purpink deals with personalized gift items for individuals and corporates.

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The guests then proceeded to Strathmore Law School~Thomas More Building for the mentorship session. Dr. Olukuru, from @iLabAfrica, gave the opening remarks and welcomed the guests and students. This was later followed by a talk by Anne Kayeli of Standard Chartered Human Resource department who gave a talk on “Setting the scene; launching a career for the millennial.” Dr. Michael Goriz gave his remarks and encouraged students to use technology, as it is a necessary tool to ensure economic growth.

The student teams were divided into 11 groups for the breakout sessions. The session was titled “Meet my Mentor” championed by Standard Chartered executives in Operations, Human Resource, Insurance and Finance departments. A mentor from Standard Chartered was assigned to each group. The sessions were highly interactive as the mentors engaged the students who were then able to ask any questions or clarifications they needed. The event was concluded by a vote of thanks by Dr. Olukuru and Peter Gitau.

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@iLabAfrica- Strathmore University Researchers Attend IST Africa Conference 2017.

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Three Researchers from @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, were selected to present their papers in the IST Conference 2017 held in Windhoek, Namibia. Tabitha Mberi, Tracy Weru and Lorna Mutegi presented their individual papers to an audience comprising of senior officials from both the public and private sectors in education and research; Innovation stakeholders from Namibia, the European Commission, the African Union Commission, Southern African Development Community, Ubuntu Alliance among others. There were over 150 presentations from 36 countries.

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L-R; Lorna Mutegi, Tracy Weru and Tabitha Mberi

Tabitha’s paper themed:”Challenges to the Successful Implementation of E-Government Systems in Developing Countries: A Case of Taita Taveta, Kenya “was on work that @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University continues to implement in Taita Taveta County. Tabitha’s research looked at how devolvement of government from local authorities to county governments in Kenya has resulted in many counties adopting online revenue collection systems with the aim to improve public sector services and deliver them in an effective and efficient manner. Her study assessed the  various challenges that the team has faced in implementing the system which range from lack of trust of e-government systems by citizens, lack of infrastructure servicing by the county government, failure to follow procedures by system users among other reasons

Lorna’s paper, titled “Unlocking the Supply of Open Government Data for SDGs: A Case of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)” focused on demand for data-for-development to support and monitor a country’s progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a rising global need. Lorna’s paper illuminates on a model for unlocking the supply of Open Government Data (OGD) for monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs based on a project that Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, is currently working on in partnership with The World Bank and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The model informs on the benefits of utilizing a quadruple helix model (public/private/research/civil society) in an OGD initiative, to unlock quality, timely and reliable government data to support and measure SDGs and other national development goals.

Tracy presented her paper titled “Cyber-Smart Children, Cyber-Safe Teenagers: Enhancing internet   Safety for Children“. Child Online Protection is a hard and tricky concern that requires multi-national efforts if it’s to be successfully tackled in the near future. This is mainly due to the exponential growth in smart devices. Providing a safe environment requires an in-depth understanding of the types and prevalence of online risks young Internet users face, as well as of the solutions most effective in mitigating these risks. To be able to get the right information on protecting children and teenagers there is need of  an Internet Safety awareness program that will build a generation of responsible digital citizens whose online behaviour demonstrate media literacy, ethics, safety and security.The paper presented by Tracy Nyatoro Weru proposes the development of a mobile based game application based on child online protection that will provide a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective.

The IST Africa Conference provides a platform to strengthen Information Society, ICT and Innovation related policy dialogues both within Africa and between Africa and Europe, through Plenary Sessions, the rich thematic knowledge exchange facilitated by Scientific Programme and co-located multi-lateral (eg. JEG8, eu-Africa HLPD on STI) and private bi-lateral meetings. (Source: IST Africa).

Participation in the IST Africa 2017 conference continues to contribute to @iLabAfrica’s- Strathmore University exploitation and research and innovation strategy. In addition, the networking opportunity will continue to help build the research Centre ties with leading Public, Private, Education, and Research organizations from more than 39 countries who took part in the conference.

 

Invitation to Participate in the Digital Radio – IoT Ideation Event

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Strathmore University – @iLabAfrica and Motorola Solutions invites students and professionals (in teams of at most 3 people) to present their Internet of Things (IoT-based) ideas under the following critical concepts:

1. Public safety (police, fire, health, security and services)

2. Utilities : Electricity distribution, water and wastewater

3. Energy, including Oil and Gas

4. Emergency Preparedness/Response: Natural disaster warning systems and

5. Wildlife.

The teams are expected to submit a write-up of an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that incorporates a prototype description of a sensing system that can remotely transmit data using different connectivity mechanisms such as two-way radio, GSM networks and Bluetooth as well as any other connectivity method. The teams will select the open platforms they feel comfortable using and transmitting the data to.

The deadline of submission of these ideas is June 13th. The teams with outstanding ideas will be selected to participate in the Digital Radio – IoT Ideation Event that will be held on June 22nd. In this event, the teams will do an oral presentation of their submitted ideas to a panel of corporates and academicians. A set of successful teams at this stage will be selected again. Tokens for participants and awards to the winning teams will be given after this event. The winning teams will then be marched with Motorola Solutions value-add-resellers to initiate a 90-day period of incubation that will see these teams’ ideas nurtured into businesses as well as trained to work with the relevant technology.

After this period, an assessment will be carried out to determine the most outstanding team(s) that will be attending Motorola Solutions’ participation in the first dedicated Mission Critical Communications Industry Event in Africa in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2017.

For Queries please contact: lmabele@strathmore.edu/fbalala@strathmore.edu

Register Here

Cohort 1 Graduation: Project Autistech

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The first Cohort of the Autism Tech Project completed their classes on 28th April 2017. The project is on a pilot basis and is the first project of its kind in Strathmore University. The project seeks to create an environment whereby certain individuals on the Autism auti2Spectrum can be trained on Software Testing and other areas of IT and get employment. @iLabAfrica partnered with IBM, who provided their software testing tool.  After a series of interviews, 5 students were selected to pioneer it at @iLabAfrica.

 

 

Background

Project Autism Tech was conceived in November 2015 as a possible means to addressing the problem of unemployment amongst capable individuals in the Autism Spectrum within the field of software testing. This specific area was selected because it is a model that has been successfully proven in all continents of the world except in Africa.

@iLabAfrica, being a Research Centre in Strathmore University established in 2011 to spearhead Research and Innovation in the ICT for the Development (ICT4D) ecosystem towards the attainment of the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030, was selected by the Project pioneer to partner in the execution of the pilot project.

The project sought to create an environment whereby certain individuals on the Autism Spectrum could be trained and get employment on the basis of their areas of strength. Software Testing & Quality assurance is one such area where people with Autism have been known to excel and thus the project was borne.

Training

The 5 Candidates went through a series of classes that comprised of Information Technology, soft skills and life skills. In IT they learnt about software testing, data entry, cloud computing, basic programming and Internet among others. Some of the soft skills they were taught were communicating with colleagues, respecting personal space, advocating for themselves and professionalism of work. They were also taught on how to do interviews, going through contracts and seeking advice before signing any agreement with companies or persons. They were exposed to making and doing presentations in order to show and sell any ideas and information when required.

“The experience has helped the candidates grow a lot socially since the beginning of the project. Initially, they had difficulties in holding conversations and teamwork. These communication and social challenges are due to the fact that they are on the autism spectrum. But with time, through intensive coaching and role playing, a huge improvement has been seen. Today they are able to hold group discussions and work in a team with minimal supervision”, said Naomi Nyambura who is their Job coach.

The project gave the candidates an opportunity to make friends and have meaningful work relationships with neuro-typical colleagues. Through the pilot project, those in the university were sensitized on Autism and what it is all about and were able to connect with the candidates and  assist them in any way possible.

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Outcome of the Project

From the training, the candidates were able to learn about research and documentation and make presentations based on the research. The candidates were also able to learn about software testing which included practical sessions on manual and automated software testing. They used the IBM software testing tool to do the automated testing successfully. Other areas that the candidates were trained on was cloud computing, programming in Java and website development. During the graduation ceremony, one of the candidates was offered an internship opportunity at Kenya Communication Centre for Learning (KCCL) by the Principal.

The ego, confidence and morale of the candidates also improved a great deal as a result of being in the Autism Tech project. They had always dreamt of being in a university, being accepted and treated normally without discrimination. This is what they got and it has helped them increase their self-belief, and worked hard throughout their training. Their goal is to get employed, to be independent. This project opened a door for this goal to be achieved.

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All in all the Autism Tech project has been a great success. It is evident that with continued support, people with disabilities have a chance of getting training in IT and getting meaningful employment thereby becoming independent and leading a more normal life.

Call for Application: IDEA Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator Cohort 1 2017

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Description

The Idea Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator is a three months long incubation program that empowers entrepreneurs to launch globally scalable innovation-driven startups that solve relevant local challenges.

Details:

Selection-Our selection process is a unique full-day workshop and pitch presentation (after a week) where participants are trained and equipped with the most relevant lean startup tools to conduct customer discovery and validation. Teams then pitch to demonstrate customer-problem fit. The teams are also trained and equipped with the tools and skills for business modeling. They develop a business model to be tested during the incubation period. Teams that pass the selection interview and already having proof of concept and early traction (users and customers) proceed to submit an application for seed funding to IDEA Foundation.

Training-Selected teams undergo an intense two weeks curriculum designed to quickly orient them into the nuances of business skills, entrepreneurship and lean startup techniques. The training will equip the participants with the knowledge and skills across entrepreneurship, business modeling, team development, business processes, presentation skills and pitching, product development and lean startup methodology. Classes take place in the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

 Mentoring and Coaching-Teams will have access to top mentors and coaches from industry and Strathmore University.

 MVP and Proof of Concept-Concurrently with the training, teams embark on building an MVP for proof of concept. They also run experiment to test the business model. The duration for this is one month. Teams pitch to demonstrate proof of concept and to submit application for seed funding.

 Seed Funding-Applications for seed funding are submitted to the selection committee that approves them of review by the Idea Foundation Investment Committee. Applicants can apply upto KES. 500,000.

Who Should Apply

  • The program is open to teams lead by Strathmore Students and Alumni only. Women and alumni are highly encouraged to apply.
  • The program is open to small synergized entrepreneurial teams with balanced skill sets, relevant experience and passion to execute and succeed.

Selection Criteria

  1. Applicants must be Strathmore Students or Alumni (At least one applicant in the team).
  2. Applicants must be in a team of 2 to three people with relevant technical and business skills required in the startup.
  3. Applicants must be physically available to participate in the program  during the entire duration of the program.
  4. Only the applicants that will successfully complete the selection workshop will be admitted into the program.
  5. Applicant must demonstrate innovation and address relevant local challenges with impact on the sustainable Development Goals

Themed Categories for the Program

  1. Agritech-Innovations in agriculture
  2. Edtech-Innvations in education
  3. Healthcare
  4. Fintech
  5. Energy
  6. Governance and Ethics

Duration: 3 months

Dates: 

  1. Open Call for Applications-27th April 2017
  2. Deadline call for applications-27th May 2017
  3. Incubation-May-August 2017

To apply to this call. Please fill in this form.

Revenue Enhancement Specialized Training

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@iLabAfrica in partnership with key industry players offered this 4-day course which offered an approach to sustainable revenue mobilization and enforcement in local governments and looks at means of improving core revenue processes, systems, data quality, skills and organizational structures.

The course was graced with the presence of senior and middle managers in the revenue/finance departments of County Governments, including Directors, Chief Officers, Sub-county Administrators, Revenue Officers, and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs), in charge of the budgeting process. It was well represented with county officials from all over the country.

On the first day, through Dr. Walter Ongeti and Mr. Stephen Khadondi, the participants were challenged on disruptive strategic thinking and creative destruction – to shift the paradigm towards performance management in revenue collection through change management. They were also enlightened on the revenue mobilization constitutional mandate and PFM Architecture Analysis.

On the second day, the participants were able to gain and understand a lot on domestic resource mobilization policy, legal framework and administration as well as revenue enforcement strategies through a panel discussion that consisted representatives from CRA, COB, ICPAK, KRA, IFMIS and KIPPRA among others.

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Douglas Gicho, the ICT Director of Kiambu, during his afternoon session touched on holistic e-Governance and public-private partnerships on revenue collection and mobilization.

CRA Director, Sheila Yieke shed light on CRA Recommended County Revenue Laws, their implementation and revenue target setting on the third day. Stephen Masha reviewed the mandate of the COB in County Revenue Collection and Resource Mobilization.

On the final day Professor David Sperling, one of the founders of Strathmore University addressed the County Officials on economic growth, sustainable growth and equity. They were very amazed at how knowledgeable he is about kenya and development.

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Banking institutions also had their representatives in the area. They focused on maximum utilization of banking capabilities in revenue collection enhancement and introduction of cashless systems.

In the end each County had a representative who shared how they’ve benefited from the course and how they would use the recently acquired knowledge within their own counties.

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We acknowledge the CountyPro team that made the 4-day course a great success.

Apply: Ideas for Action (I4A)2017 Competition

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Every year, students and young professionals from around the world participate to design ideas for financing and implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Winners of the competition will present their ideas during the IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings, receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young leaders as well as some of the most senior decision-makers in international development, academia, and the private sector.

Your Proposal 

Your proposal should include the following:

  • Title and team name
  • Short abstract
  • Explanation of the problem and context: Briefly describe the problem that your proposal is addressing.
  • Your solution: Succinctly describe your idea (including design, target population, stakeholders, incentives, and implementation)
  • Expected impact: Why is it relevant?
  • Are there similar examples? If so, where and how?
  • Challenges: What are challenges you might face and how can they be addressed?

 Timeline 

  • Deadline for full proposal submissions: February 28, 2017
  • Announcement of submissions selected for the final round: March 21, 2017
  • Deadline for final submissions: April 17, 2017
  • Announcement of winners: May 31, 2017

Registration and Submission

Eligibility: Students and young professionals between the ages of 14-18 years and 18-35 years from around the world are invited participate.

Team Registration: Teams must consist of two to six members and may be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, countries, nationalities etc. Please register your teams prior to submitting your proposal. You will then receive all relevant updates regarding the competition and our upcoming events.

Submission: Proposals must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format

Ready for this??apply here