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Monday, 07 September 2015 13:19

By: Prossy Tulinomubezi

Gender dynamics are to be addressed through the WIMEA-ICT project by devising strategies that support gender equality if access to weather information and weather information management is to be achieved.

Dr. Juliane Sansa-Otim is the Principle Investigator of the NORAD WIMEA-ICT project, says that prior to the task, research was conducted in Uganda, Tanzania and Sudan and short comings which range from decreased agricultural productivity, weather related diseases and weather related accidents which can be solved if gender dynamics are worked on.

Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello-Obura, Principal of the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)Makerere University said focusing on gender is relevant because there are many gender dynamics that bring about imbalances in access to weather information.

“When we bring in the component of gender when talking of weather information management, it is very relevant because in East Africa, both men and women who are directly involved in agriculture need weather information,” Obura said.

He was speaking at a WIMEA-ICT workshop held last week at the College of Computing and Information Sciences Makerere University.

“When it comes to information access, there are various social, religious and cultural issues related to gender in terms of access to information which challenges the WIMEA-ICT project intends to address,” Obura added.

Fred Kindi a gender expert from the Department of Gender and Women Studies Makerere University says that gender determines resource distribution, access and control, access to benefits, opportunities, and education among others. The WIMEA-ICT project thus arises to address such challenges.

“Women are discriminated when it comes to resource distribution, decision making, education and when it comes to employment, preference is always given to men which unfairness WIMEA-ICT project intends to solve,” he said.

The WIMEA-ICT project has four main components of; Numerical Weather Prediction, Weather Station Network Density, Weather Data Repositories, Weather Information dissemination which are to be implemented through research and teaching.


Monday, 07 September 2015 13:18

By: Jacky Achan

Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is to partner with familysearch.org to boost usage of its Family tree platform that helps people create a lineage of their families.

A team from familysearch.org recently met the Principal CoCIS, Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello- Obura to discuss a working partnership.

The familysearch.org platform will use innovations in ICT from CoCIS to make it widely adopted and used in Uganda.

Francis Ssekito a Lecturer at the East African School of Library and Information Sciences (EASLIS) Makerere University, will spearhead the student innovation in this project.

Group picture of Family tree officials and the team from CoCIS Makerere University at the end of a meeting to establish a working relationship.



By: Jacky Achan


Researchers in the field of Science have been asked to help the Ugandan media fully understand their trade and file informative reports on their projects other than indulge in politicking.

Patrick Luganda a Global Media Trainer and Communications Advisor on the Geneva based Commission for Climatology in the World Metrology Organization advised while speaking to the WIMEA-ICT Researchers at Makerere University.

“You have had people who are probably researchers/scientists, who are all the times in the media talking about politics or social issues. Surely they are such powerful brains they should be giving society the benefit of their knowledge,” he says

“Scientists must take advantage of the knowledge they have, to better inform their society to make informed decisions,” he added.

Luganda explained the channels for Science communication is there but the challenge is the personnel to communicate.

“We have Science journalists in Uganda but those same journalists are court and sports reporters, they are a jerk of all trades very few of them have taken the initiative to up their skills or have received specialized training and that’s the big challenge,” he explained.

Luganda says there is a need now to build a critical mass of Science journalists and to use the existing media channels just like business and political sectors do, to promote the understanding and use of Science.

“The critical mass of media personnel who make the Science sector functional is not there and the few who are there are either poached by NGOs, go for better paying jobs or have to divide their time in other sectors within the media,” he said.

He adds: “Science reporters are either too stretched or too few and people who are in journalism school where specialization should start graduate without knowledge on how to report on science, or are not comfortable reporting science altogether.”

Luganda commended the Introduction of communication as a course unit with Science disciplines at Makerere University

“At school is where the training should start followed by in-house training within the media houses and then linking or pairing journalists with scientists. A journalist will work with a Science institution for six months, one year and within that period fully build their Science communication capacity,” he elaborated.

“In Science communication we need people within the Science community help the media report better,” he adds.

But Luganda says building Science communication needs long term programs to achieve the set goal.

Scientists need to have communication inbuilt within systems so that even if you are developing a project the communication component particularly media communication is there.

“Scientists will build widespread capacity where they are able to communicate and where even journalist are able to easily pick out what to report,”

Luganda emphasized that Scientists cannot stand alone because they serve a society best understood by the arts.

“The arts do their research and daily work in society while the scientists do their work in the labs or work with machines. To transfer what scientists are doing in the labs to benefit the common person or for it to be internalized by the common person/public they need the arts where journalists fall,” he explained.

Luganda said if projects can pick interest in the communication component, build it from the very beginning of the project life cycle to it known through public awareness and the project being informative and beneficial to society, in building communication from the very beginning will help realize this goal.




By: Jacky Achan

Tech innovators undertaking an incubation challenge at Makerere University have been braved to first understand client needs before leaping into new software development in their field of specialization.

Michael Niyitegeka an ICDL Africa Accreditation Consultant for Uganda (a world leading computer skills certification institution) says the innovator must always be in sync with client needs for their newly developed software’s to get a good reception in the market.

“Many times we spend a lot of time developing technology for an imaginary client, spend a lot of time in building applications, building softwares all for a consumer that does not exist in real life or if the consumer exists the need is totally different,” he said.



Niyitegeka is an expert in Leadership Development, and Business Technology Strategy with a cumulative 16 years working experience in private and public sectors.


He says the time wastage risks calls for innovators to be more engaging with clients and were an agreement is reached the technology will follow in form of software development.

30 ICT students from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara and Kampala International Universities are undertaking a Mendix software development challenge at Makerere University’s College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS).

The training that takes ten weeks is conducted annually so as to empower the students with different skills they can use to engage clients in the entrepreneurship world of technology and this involves software development.

Niyitegeka says the innovators need to first engage their clients and fully understand their need and their chances of undertaking the job.

“For me, if my chances of doing the job after consulting with a client is above 70 percent I will invest my time, If its open competition I have other things to work on,” he says.

Niyitegeka broadly shared ideas on how the innovators undertaking the Mendix challenge at Makerere can engage their clients and understand their need before they go into developing technology.

Mendix is a rapid tool for software development that does not use a lot of codes. $10m has been set aside by its parent company Mendix USA and Mansystems Netherlands to improve its applicability on PCs, mobile and tablets.

The training is being supported by Mansystems, Mendix, Smile communications and Makerere University’s CoCIS.




By: Jacky Achan, Geoffrey Nyerere & Prossy Tulinomubezi

Success in the field of technological innovation is possible for young innovators to achieve were talent and novelty is combined with a profitable business plan.

Professor Gregg Pascal Zachary of Arizona State University USA tipped a group of ICT students from various Ugandan Universities in Kampala Tuesday.

“To turn into a successful entrepreneur in the Ugandan environment is difficult when you compare to other countries, but you still have to try,” he said.



Prof. Zachary speaking on entrepreneurship and innovation said having a new idea is most vital for young entrepreneurs to become successful  in the tech business.


30 Computer Science students from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara and Kampala Internal Universities are undertaking a Mendix software development challenge at the Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS).

The training that takes ten weeks is conducted annually so as to empower the students with different skills that they can use to engage clients in the entrepreneurship world of technology which involves software development.

Mendix is a rapid tool for software development that does not use a lot of codes. $10m has been set aside by its parent company Mendix USA and Mansystems Netherlands to improve its applicability on PCs, mobile and tablets.

The training is being supported by Mansystems, Mendix, Smile communications and Makerere University’s CoCIS.


Listen in: https://soundcloud.com/cocismak/innovation-and-entreprenuershipmp3

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