technology

Cashless revenue collection system launched in Busia.

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@iLabAfrica, Strathmore University, launched a cashless revenue collection system in Busia County. The system, a project under @iLabAfrica’s outsourcing and consulting unit, dubbed County Pro was launched on the 10th of April 2019. The launch, which was spearheaded by Busia’s County Governor, Hon. Sospeter Ojaamong, is set to collect revenue and seal leakages that have led to a decline in the county’s revenue collection.

In his statement the governor applauded @iLabAfrica for contributing to a course that seeks to seal loopholes and maximize revenue collection in the county.

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“I thank @iLabAfrica from Strathmore University and the vendors of the County Pro system for effecting the cashless system in partnership with Safaricom,” Ojaamong said.

Busia County now aims at attaining and realizing its potential of collecting Sh1.5 Billion from the various revenue streams through the system.

Implementation of the System

Busia County has already procured 100 P.O.S (Point of Sales) Devices to its 7 sub-counties and training done to all the Revenue Collectors in the specific sub counties.

@iLabAfrica, through the County Pro vendors, is taking part in the implementation process in two steps; the Gap Analysis Report which is going to ensure that the county has the prerequisite infrastructure that is: Computers, Printers and the Internet, for the program to kick off and the Modular Process of Implementation which is going to make sure that the Backend System of the structured revenue and P.O.S (Point of Sales) system of the unstructured revenue are up and running.

Once the systems are operational, data that is obtained from the P.O.S system, which will include parking tickets and market receipts, shall be directly synchronized into the Backend System of the Structured Revenue of the county government.

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

This system will be monitored on a daily basis using the User Support System. Through this system, Revenue Collectors can contact the County Pro Developers through calls and e-mails and make their cases regarding any queries on the system.

Quarterly Site visits will also be done to assess the success of the system. This is also meant to enable the creators of County Pro address any vital issues concerning the system’s workability.

@iLabAfrica has been at the forefront of technological advancements with projects just like ‘County Pro’ to help solve notable issues facing the counties and country through the use of technology

County Pro has replicated the same system in Kiambu, Taita Taveta and Kisumu Counties which are now yielding positive results in terms of revenue collection.

 

 

 

Computer Science Workshop for teachers

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@iLabAfrica’s Digital Learning Unit conducted the second Computer Science Workshop for teachers from the 23rd -27th of April 2019. The workshop dubbed CS4Teachers was held at at Strathmore University and forms part of a series of activities under the Google CS4Edu Grant which @iLabAfrica was awarded in April of 2018. The program seeks to support continuous Professional Development of teachers in the area of Computer Science education and is also geared towards improving teaching and learning of computer science in secondary schools by encouraging the uptake of the subject at tertiary level.

Participants of this workshop were majorly drawn from schools within Nairobi and surrounding counties, i.e. Kajiado, Machakos and Kiambu. However, the workshop attracted teachers from as far as Siaya and Marsabit counties. A total of 52 teachers participated in the 5-day activity. The workshop was through scholarships awarded to educators based on competence and ability of passing on the skills acquired to their students, the end beneficiary. The scholarships covered training and training material, access to a computer and Internet connectivity during training, tea and lunch as well as transport from Nairobi CBD to Strathmore University and vice versa.

Workshop activities were in the form of lectures, class discussions and hands-on lab exercises. Throughout the week, the participants were engaged in coding exercises which introduced them to web development in Digital foot printing, HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Teacher testimonials:

The workshop was superb. Benefited a lot and now extending the same to our students.

The workshop was superb and I learnt a lot. I am now extending that experience to our students. Thanks to all who facilitated it.

This was a very educative workshop. I look forward to such workshops in future.

The training was very enriching and we request to continue with the same come August so that we perfect on our web design skills.

On the final day of the workshop the participants made presentations of their classroom projects. This provided an opportunity for them to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts learned during the workshop. The teachers were also introduced to the Community of Practice (CoP) which was set up to allow them to continue to exchange ideas and best practices with other participants. Weekly coding challenges are posted to the CoP to encourage teachers to continue the development of their web programming skills.

Standard Chartered and @iBizAfrica Women In Technology Incubator Launch

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On Monday 2nd October 2017, @iBizAfrica in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank launched Women in Technology Incubator program at Strathmore University. The programme is Africa’s leading women in tech incubator, aligning with calls for more diversity in technology and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership expertise.

Speaking during the launch Sunil Kaushal, Standard Charted Bank Regional CEO (Africa Middle East), talked about the growing gender digital divide on socio-economic practices, which he said have resulted in women lagging behind in training and eventually starved off financial opportunities. Laming Manjang – CEO, Kenya, and East Africa from Standard Charted Bank took to the podium and in his remarks emphasized how sustainability is a core priority for Standard Charted Bank work and they will do this by empowering entrepreneurs.

DSC_0079.JPGThe event was officially launched by Sammy Itemere, Kenya Government Principal Secretary of Broadcast, and Telecommunications who talked about how the government has and is still putting up measures that ensure technology is accessible to everyone.  He also talked about how the launch of the incubator is important for our country Kenya as investing in women is insurance for our country and the future.

During the event, there was an all-women discussion panel that talked about women entrepreneurs; cost of technology in running business and digital divide. The panel talked about how it is important for women to access more hands on training, mentoring, long-term engagement to help businesses grow, while funding is important, it is not enough. Ms. Anne Mutahi, board chairperson of Standard charted in her remarks talked about how the incubator will break the barriers women have in getting into the technology field.DSC_0184.JPG

The Standard Chartered team together with the Principal Secretary then went for the tour of the incubation facility at @iBizAfrica where the selected women who will take part in the program will be incubated.

The program will combine world-class startup support with local and international experience to provide Africa’s most competitive and attractive startup incubation program focusing immersive learning, mentorship, building and growing Africa’s next iconic startups taking on the continent’s most relevant challenges and opportunities.

The participants who will apply online will then be invited for a pitch to a panel of judges will then select the top 10 contestants who  will go through a 10-week incubation period where they will be coached and  mentored.  Five of the lucky participants will stand a chance of winning $10,000 to help grow their business.

  To be able to take part in the program, please apply here.

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.

Be part of Startup Mentoring by Enpact.

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Are you ready to scale up your business/ startup and looking to work closely with international experts and mentors

 Who can apply?

Entrepreneurs who…

  • Are beyond concept validation and prototype phase in their market
  • Want to improve their business operations with insights and best practices from experts and international mentors and other fast-moving entrepreneurs
  • Wish to experience an outstanding and long lasting personal and entrepreneurial journey alongside engaging in the enpact community
  • Are from Kenya, Germany, the East African region or Europe
  • are committed to doing the entire 8-month mentoring programme.

What is in it for you?

You will…

  • Work on new and exciting challenges to overcome with team, funding, product development, positioning, pivoting or business development
  • Explore new markets or consolidate within the national market
  • Pitch to an extensive network of partners (corporates, investors, influencers, etc.)
  • Gain exposure via international and regional media outlets
  • Exchange stories about failures, lessons, tips and tricks with the enpact community.

What is the programme about?

Over the last few years, startup mentoring by Enpact has driven ambitious entrepreneurs to overcome obstacles, scale their business, connect internationally with partners and gain new insights to develop their strategy and strengthen their management skills.

So far, more than 200 entrepreneurs have been through our programme and we have developed a pool of 100+ highly qualified mentors & experts. Participants from our earlier programme have employed 4 or more people in the first year and we are proud to see that they have a 80% survival rate.

Click here if you want to know more about what makes Enpact 8-month international mentoring program special!

 

Call for Applications: Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

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Five hundred billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2030!

Things like wells, cars, watches, refrigerators, and more will be connected to the Internet for the first time so that they can transmit and receive information. Digitization is about connecting people and things to the Internet so that the information those connections provide can be used to improve processes and decision making.

With digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT), good ideas can make a difference more quickly than ever before by driving economic development and helping people solve some of our most

Who Should Enter?

This challenge is open to students or recent alumni from any college or university. For detailed eligibility requirements, please click here .

Areas of impact could include, but are not limited to:

  • local industry/economic development
  • critical human needs (food, water, shelter, and disaster relief)
  • healthcare
  • economic empowerment/financial inclusion
  • education
  • environment
  • connectivity

Digital Technologies that enable these innovations may include, but are not limited to:

  • connected/smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy)
  • connected transportation
  • wearables
  • big data
  • analytics
  • cloud computing

We are awarding $300,000 to support Global Problem Solvers. Click here to read more about the prizes.

Application Process

  • March 30 2017: Applications Open
  • May 30 2017: Applications Close
  • June 12, 2017: Finalists announced
  • June 12,-28th 2017: Peoples Choice Voting
  • June 29: Winners Announced

Why you should participate?

  • Huge cash infusion to develop your company or solution
  • Global recognition and publicity for your company or solution
  • Looks great on a resume or in a prospectus to potential funders
  • Review by Cisco technology experts and high profile judges
  • Peer and industry validation for your solution

 Digitize. Do More Good.

To learn more and take part in this challenge,please click here.