Mr. Drake Patrick Mirembe has been elected to Chair the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Centre for Excellence (CoE) Network in Africa for the next two years. Drake was chosen during the recently concluded 5th Steering Committee Meeting held in Kampala, Uganda.
Drake joins the prestigious network at an opportune time when he will be able to influence the development of the new strategy that will run all ITU human capacity initiatives for the next five years under the ITU CoE academy. He will implement node competence schemes and streamline professional accreditation of ITU training programmes. Ã¢‚¬Å“During the implementation, it is expected that spin-off projects like satellite and cyber security anchor nodes will be setup by ITU and her partners,Ã¢‚¬ said Drake. Ã¢‚¬Å“Besides, Makerere will be able to supply experts to deliver some of the training in other countries. This will provide a channel for a number of academic staff to enter the ITU expertÃ¢‚¬„¢s database, a privilege only a few can attain,Ã¢‚¬ he added.
Drake heads the Centre for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD) at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makerere University. In 2010, the College was selected to host an ITU Academy based on her strong record on human capital development through the department of professional skills development then, now the CiPSD. To date, the ITU CoE at Makerere has trained over 400 people from 15 different countries in the last 2 year alone, making it one of the most successful ITU CoE nodes in Africa.
The history of ITU CoEs spans back to 1988, when the ITU started a human capital building programme targeting developing countries in order to address the ICT skill shortages and bridge the digital divide. Thus, ITU established ITU Centres of Excellence network among institutions sharing expertise, resources, capacity-building know-how in telecommunications and ICTs training/education, distributed around the world. Designed to offer continuous education to ICT managers in the public and private spheres through face-to-face or distance learning programmes, the Centres serve as regional focal points for professional development, research, and knowledge sharing, as well as providing specialist training services to external clients.
These Centres were established with support from multilateral and regional organizations like ITSO, ICTP, educational institutes and government donors. CoE networks have been established in Africa, the Americas, Arab States, Asia- Pacific, Caribbean, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe. Under the umbrella of the ITU Academy, these regional networks have now been joined together into a single global network sharing training curricula, resources and expertise over the ITU Academy Portal.
In Africa, the ITU Academy CoE represents a sustainable network of selected training and educational institutions (hereafter Ã¢‚¬Å“nodesÃ¢‚¬) that provide training opportunities in topics related to telecommunications and/or ICTs. The overall purpose is to promote human capacity building of governmental authorities, regulators, and senior managers of operators and service providers. To date, the CoE network in Africa has undergone two development phases, one spanning from 1994 to 1997 and the second ongoing phase from 1998 to 2012.
Starting in 2013 a new innovative model for delivering training through the CoE Network in Africa is foreseen, modelled along an operating framework for the CiPSD. The CiPSDÃ¢‚¬„¢s strong performance has propelled Drake Mirembe to this most recent achievement. During his tenure, Drake will also oversee the operations of seven nodes including CFL South Africa, AFRILT Kenya, KIST Rwanda, Nettel Tanzania, CMTL Togo, ESMT Senegal, CoCIS, Makerere University.