16th Annual ICT Conference: Breaking the Digital Barrier
Strathmore Universitys 16th ICT Conference organized by Faculty of Information and Technology took place on 4th -5th September, at the Strathmore University Auditorium. The informative event themed – Breaking the Digital Barrier was graciously attended by Information Technology (IT) experts from both public and private sectors, academic researchers, IT students from institutions of higher education and young professionals in the industry.
Dr Joseph Orero, Dean, opened the event with a welcoming address, stating the important role of the Conference as an avenue for stakeholders to meet and share knowledge and nurture young academics. The two-day event also included breakout sessions in a bid to accommodate the larger number of conference papers it had attracted. Dr. Orero expressed his gratitude to all invited speakers from 11 different institutions from academia and I.T industry companies which used the conference to showcase their technologies.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Izael Da Silva, Deputy Vice Chancellor welcomed and thanked key note speakers including Nicholas Nesbitt; Country General Manager IBM East Africa, Prof. Micah Beck, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, Said Rechchad; General Manager, EMC Corporation East & South Africa, Reha Yurdakal, Dr Michel Bazy; Carnegie Mellon University and Kala Flemimg; IBM Turkey Research Africa, Dr Liu Jing, Senior security engineer; E-bay and Amazon who presented via video conferencing. The conference was sponsored by IBM East Africa and Orange-Kenya.
Nicholas Nesbitt, Country General Manager IBM East Africas address was on Cloud Opportunities. Cloud Computing – a concept of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer, was discussed in depth during the conference. Speakers highlighted advantages of embracing this technology, stating that it is critical for digital transformation. Impact of ICT on SMEs was also discussed and entrepreneurs were called upon to embrace new technologies for greater impact in their businesses. Dr Michel Bezy, another key speaker had this to say during his presentation, ICT innovations in Africa will come from African inventors and entrepreneurs who understand the challenges and needs that are unique in Africa.
The conference theme provided for a variety of topics for discussion such as; Information Systems Security, Intelligent Systems, Mobile Applications and Communications software, Next Generation Telecommunication Systems and Smart Cities. Varied case study presentations were made, encouraging students to take up the challenge of finding solutions to existing problems in ICT through exploring and innovating in the industry as innovation is about solving challenges.
Over the years the Faculty of Information Technology acknowledges accomplishments made as a consequence of the IT conferences, such as:
- Establishment of linkages between the university and industry
- Broad dissemination of research outcomes to stakeholders in ICT sector
- Provide facts and statistics that help better understanding of the market and industry
- Idea exchange and feedback generation from reliable experts
- Showcasing of latest technology and mobile innovations from the University
- Establishment of ICT research centre, @iLabAfrica
- Establishment of @iBiz an incubator for nurturing young tech companies.
- Better alignment of Strathmore ICT curriculums with industry expectations
- Better/greater awareness of ICT issues and importance to the Economy
The conference was a big opportunity which provided a great platform for its attendees for more knowledge on innovation and invention