Strathmores 14th ICT Conference: Technology for Sustainability
The average age at which Kenyan youth are exposed to computers is 19 years of age, a marked difference from the developed world where exposure is at 4 years of age, these were remarks made by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiangi while opening Strathmores 14th ICT Conference last Friday. Limited infrastructure, policy issues, limited bandwidth, new county governments are some of the challenges dodging the ICT sector as his ministry works hard to ensure Kenya achieves significantly in technology to drive business in private and public sector alike.
The ICT Conference, under the Faculty of Information and Technology, was graced by high profile guests, Dr. Fred Matiangi; Managing Director, MTN Business Mr. Tom Omariba, Mr. Kamal, Founder Craft Silicon and conference participants were drawn from various institutions of higher learning even as key speakers challenged universities to participate in policy formulation, innovation, and relevant skills and knowledge in IT for university students.
Now in its 14th year, the Strathmore ICT conference is the oldest annual conference in Strathmore since its inauguration in 2001. Dr. Reuben Marwanga, Dean FIT, expounded on some of the accomplishments that the University and faculty have achieved as a consequence of ICT conferences. They include;
- Establishment of linkages between the university and the industry
- Broad dissemination of research outcomes to stakeholders in the ICT sector
- Provided facts and statistics that help better understanding of the market and industry
- Idea exchange and feedback generation from reliable experts
- Showcased latest technology and mobile innovations out of Strathmore
- Established an ICT research center known as @iLabAfrica
- Established an incubator for nurturing young technology companies known as @iBiz
- Better alignment of Strathmore ICT curriculums with industry expectations
- Better/greater awareness of ICT issues and importance to the Economy
Over the years, Dr. Marwanga remarked, evolution and constant changes in the ever-dynamic ICT sector are articulated in presentations made in the conferences. Current trends are now driven by mobile technology with presentations in web/mobile applications for health, education, agriculture and retail industry, social networking, education e.g., E-Learning and M-Learning; Business intelligence & data analytics; Computing and Embedded Systems Cloud computing and intelligent Systems as well as E-Science & distributed collaboration.
The Faculty of IT plans to participate in a significant way in implementation of the new digital education as planned by government by participating both at policy level and at practical implementation. To this end a recent stakeholders forum to discuss key issues towards this with fruitful ideas was organised on Tuesday 25th June 2013 at Strathmore University. Students at undergraduate and post graduate level will also participate in preparation of applications to deliver content to the schools.
The conference had 26 insightful conference papers among them, Talking Books, presented by Murani Kevin and Vincent Omwenga; Use of GPS to provide real time traffic information and routing based on Dijkstras and Yens Algorithms presented by Oscar Ondeng and Ismail Aleiya; Mobile VOIP presented by Brian Owino and Bernard Shibwabo.
The Faculty of Information and Technology will soon launch an e-journal to capture all presentations made in the conference.
Congratulations are in order to the organizing secretariat, the entire faculty as well as all participants for a job well done.
Click here to watch the entire speech by Dr. Matiangi.