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Projects & Collaborations (39)

Mobile Innovation and Enterprise

Written by Thursday, 28 July 2011 15:33 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

The Faculty of Computing and IT at Makerere University and the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering & Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University, UK have received fund from British Council through its Education Partnerships in Africa scheme to establish partnership between the two universities. The fund obtained under the British Council competitive Partnership Project Grants was sought to implement a jointly proposed project titled Mobile Innovation and Enterprise whose main objective is to respond to the fast growing mobile market in the country in particular and in the region in general. The project proposal jointly submitted by Idris A. Rai, Associate Professor in Communication Networks at CIT Makerere and Andrew Darden, Reader in e-SocialAction at Communication and Computing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University sought to blend teaching on mobile computing and innovation with experiences of entrepreneurship and user-centered design hoping to develop a cohort of young minds who have the skills to lead Ugandan innovation in mobile sector. Specific key expected outputs of the project include:

  1. A cohort of students with skills in mobile computing, user-centered design, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  2. A structure for continuing the training to develop more students in future years.
  3. A group of staff at Makerere who can lead skills development in mobile computing, user-centered design, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  4. A new set of relationships between Makerere and local and international businesses, non-governmental organizations and community organizations.
  5. A business plan to develop a mobile business incubation centre at Makerere where graduates will work with local and international businesses to develop innovative mobile phone business concepts and spin outs.

Private sector partners in this project include Orange Labs, research labs of Orange and DMark Mobile, Ugandan a premier telecom value added service provider.

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Makerere School of Computing and IT (CIT) will receive funds and grid computing infrastructure to implement its proposed project under the HP-UNESCO Brain Gain Initiative.  The objectives of the UNESCO-HP initiative include building partnerships and establishing sustainable collaborations amongst the beneficiary institutions and between institutions in Africa and Diasporas.
The project titled Towards Fostering Localized Innovative ICT Solutions was proposed by Assoc. Prof. Idris A. Rai with three main objectives:

  1. To establish  linkages and collaborations between Makerere and  UNESCO-HP initiative's beneficiary institutions in West Africa, North Africa, and Middle  East, where Makerere currently has very few or no partnerships;
  2. To sustain existing links between Makerere researchers and researchers in Diasporas, and between Makerere and other public Universities in Uganda;
  3. To foster local ICT innovations at Makerere University

The project implementation shall involve connecting beneficiary institutions with advanced grid computing infrastructure. The implementation shall take various phases in the next three years (2009-2012). Under the grant, staff from beneficiary institutions will also undergo technical training on the use of Grid Computing technology.

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Dr. Jude Lubega (of CIT) and Mr. Paul Myinda Birevu (of Makerere University Institute of Learning and Adult Education) were awarded a grant to implement Developing Staff-Training Programmes in ICT to Address Strategic Needs of IUCEA Member Universities Project of which contains three phases namely;
(1) Undertaking a staff-training needs assessment for ICT in member universities; (2) Developing ICT training programmes for academic staff based on the identified needs; and (3) Piloting the training on selected staff of universities in East Africa

The project is an activity of a bigger project nhancing the Capacity of East African Universities to Utilize ICT for Sustainable Regional Development€„¢. It is part of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) new strategic plan aimed at transforming the organization into an effective regional advocate and catalyst for the strategic development and management of higher education in East Africa.

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On June 8, 2008, the Department of Software Development and Innovation (DSDI) started the National Software Incubation Centre (NSIC). The project aims at equipping fresh graduates from the university with the necessary hands on experience required to excel in the software industry. Students are arranged in groups and assigned mentors who work with them on stipulated project in conjunction with Industrial partners. In the process, the students learn and the industrial partners get working solutions that can be deployed. In February2009, the first graduates were passed out. Over 100 students received certification and the industrial partners too had their solutions commissioned to them. This year, more students have been admitted to the program that will run from June to December 2009 where they will work jointly with their mentors and industrial partners to develop solutions for the industry while at the same time learning software development skills.DISD website

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Makerere University in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of ICT, Government of Uganda are engaged in an ICT4Manpower Project. The aim of the project is to provide improved effectiveness of health systems and empowerment of healthcare communities in Uganda for better health outcomes of rural population using information and communication technologies.

The overall goal of the project is to improve the information flow from the community to the district and the regional levels of the health care system for improved healthcare delivery in Uganda using information and communication technologies (ICTs)
To achieve this goal the project will have to attain four outcomes over the next three years: Put in place the necessary E-infrastructure with support from Uganda Communications Commission (UCC); Install an effective Electronic Health Record Management system; Create a unique patient ID system; and Establish an Electronic Patient Referral and Feedback system.

Makerere University is supporting this project by providing technical expertise from three key faculties. These are Faculty of Computing and Informatics Technology, Makerere College of Health Sciences, and Faculty of Technology. Through this project capacity will be developed to support the future roll out of the project to other districts in Uganda.

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OMEVAC is an interdisciplinary project to improve quality of vaccine trials in low-resource settings was accepted for funding. The project Primary objective is to develop OMEVAC, a complete secure, mobile and electronic system for data collection and management in vaccine trials, from source to publication and using and complying to international standards and requirements. It will be field tested in Africa in ongoing trials and be available at no cost including all developed source codes and documents...for more info visit DISD website. also visit CIT news for PhD position on Mobile Applications Architecture and Security.

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Mobile devices are becoming essential as more consumers expect desktop like applications on their devices. Many organizations and research institutions have been using paper based questionnaires for data collection which is a manual process that is both error prone and time consuming.

Mobile technology can now enable researchers to collect accurate data in a more timely manner than never before. CIT has developed and supported initiatives that utilize mobile computing mobile computing for data collection. The OpenXdata tool was developed by Department of Innovations and Software Development to enable data collection and management using mobile phones.

Tulane University has a partnership with Rwanda's National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to assist them with epidemic detection and response. Currently, the Rwanda NMCP is using text messages from 19 health centers to track cases of malaria and fever and to respond if the numbers go too high.
The project will help them to automate this system, so that the text message is entered automatically into a database and also make it scalable to the entire country (some 550 health centers).

The scope of the project is to: Design a mobile application for data collection using forms; Provide for data transmission using SMS services; Setup the server application to receive collected data from mobile phones and in a database; and Develop a pilot project that will be scaled up to the whole country.

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Background:
The ITU academy mainly focuses on human capacity building in telecommunication and ICT industry of Africa. The motivation is to enhance the African telecommunication and ICT industries global competitiveness as an engine for social and economic transformation for the continent.

The ITU Academy has started a new project in Africa titled ITU Center of Excellence in Africa (CoE in AFR) where six (6) nodes (Centers of Excellences) have been selected after a competitive bid. Makerere is one of the ITU Center of Excellence and is participating on the project implementation. Other centers include AFRALTI in Kenya , KIST in Rwanda , NETTEL, CMTL in Togo and ESMT in Senegal

Each CoE is expected to deliver a minimum of two courses a year. Makerere University has been selected to deliver the following courses

  1. Customer relationship management
  2. Computer Emergency Response Team /Incidence Response (CERT)
  3. Cyber Security
  4. Customer Awareness and Protection
  5. Network Security
  6. Wireless Networking (Optimal Design and Implementation)
  7. And regional Statistics Collection and analysis

Other course will be added depending on the demand

MAK Academy Organization;
At Makerere University we have a representative who at the moment is Prof. Idris Rai and the Project Coordinator who is Drake Patrick Mirembe. The two are charged  with liaison with ITU and the day-to-day running of the Academy program.

Mode of Sponsorship:

ITU sets the training fees which are paid to the host training institution by the participants, it also recommends the facilitator. While Makerere University, provides the training facilities and manages the overall process of training delivery.

Mode of training:

ITU delivers a wide range of courses mainly via the ITU E-learning platform and seminar series. The seminars training normally last for a week. In the case of  highly technical training especially training of trainers, the duration of the course can last up to three months.

Academy Contacts:
Representative and Steering Committee member:
Prof. Idris Rai, rai[at]cit.mak.ac.ug
Coordinator
Drake Patrick Mirembe, dmirembe[at]cit.mak.ac.ug
Administrative Assistant
Edina Kyobutungi, ekyobutungi[at]cit.mak.ac.ug

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EuroAfrica-ICT initiative

Written by Thursday, 28 July 2011 14:08 Published in Projects & Collaborations comment

The EuroAfrica-ICT initiative aims at supporting the development of policy dialogues and at strengthening cooperation links on ICT research between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative has been launched in 2005 with the support of the European Commission (DG Information Society and Media) through its FP6 and FP7 research funding programmes. A new phase of this initiative was launched in January 2010 for a 2-year period, following the selection of the EuroAfrica-ICT.org project at FP7/ICT Call 4.
The activities to be developed during the next two years include:

  • The identification of ICT policy and research priorities, from which recommendations for future cooperation programmes and projects will be derived,
  • The organization of cooperation events in Europe and Africa: concertation meetings targeting the development of synergies between national and international cooperation initiatives, awareness and thematic workshops mainly aiming at connecting research organizations from both regions, and cooperation forums focusing particularly on policy and research priorities,
  • The provision of support and guidance services to research organizations interested in connecting together and developing joint research projects in the ICT field: active online community of researchers from Europe and Africa, database of African excellence research centres, proactive helpdesk services, etc.,
  • The development of various dissemination activities supporting all other activities and maximizing the overall impact of the initiative.

Download Project Overview

For more information Please visit the project website at: www.euroafrica-ict.org or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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This is a European Commission sponsored project that officially started on January 01, 2008. The new European Strategy for Africa adopted by the EU Council in December 2005 gave a comprehensive policy framework that reflects the priorities of the EU in its relationship with Africa - Towards a deeper and stronger cooperation between Africa & the European Union. The development of EU-Africa Science and Technology cooperation on ICT is of mutual and strategic interest as ICT has been identified as an enabler for a sustainable and long-term development of the African continent.
The project main objective: To identify, promote and support strategic S&T cooperation opportunities on ICT between European and African organization, and to support policy dialogues between Europe and Africa. Other project objectives are to:

  • Facilitate and support a strengthened EU-Africa dialogue;
  • Identify and develop strategic cooperation projects of common interest and mutual benefit;
  • Strengthen concentration and develop synergies between existing initiatives, programmes and projects;
  • Pursue awareness rising in Africa; Ensure a wider promotion of cooperation opportunities in Europe;
  • Pursue a specific focus on South Africa;
  • Ensure a wider promotion of cooperation opportunities in Europe; and
  • Pursue a specific focus on South Africa
  • Develop/initiate a specific action towards the Caribbean.

Beneficiaries of this project include: Orionis, a Division of Sigma Consultants (France), The Meraka Institute of CSIR (South Africa), The Panos Institute West Africa, PIWA (Senegal), The Academy of Sciences for the developing World, TWAS (Italy), The Africa Unit of The Association of Commonwealth Universities, ACU (UK), Makerere University (Uganda), The Kigali Institute of S&T (Rwanda), The Caribbean Academy of Sciences (Jamaica), and The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Belgium).

For more information Please visit the project website at: www.euroafrica-ict.org

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