The workshop will be a one day event co-hosted by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) at Makerere University as
well as the ACEIE from the University of Pretoria. The event will take place at the Metropole Kampala Hotel in Kololo, on Friday, 23 June
NB: Meals and refreshments will be provided to the participants. However, participants will be responsible for their own accommodation
Please follow the following link below for more details
The research agenda for the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (SCIT), Makerere University focuses on the use of ICTs to improve the livelihoods of people in the areas of Agriculture, Health, Education, Government, Environment and E-Services. To realize this research agenda, the school’s research activities are coordinated by a research forum organised around four Research Groups of Artificial Intelligence (AIR), Networked Systems and Systems Security (NetS), Software Systems Centre (SSC) and Development Informatics (DI).
The AIR Lab is focused on leveraging cutting edge computational methods and applying them to solving real-life problems in developing countries using Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. Presently, there are few experts in most fields in developing countries, in health, agriculture, manufacturing, etc. The problem of a few experts is generally compounded by a lack of resources to apply to prevalent problems. The AIR group seeks to address these problems specifically. For the few experts, we use Artificial Intelligence techniques to automate several expert tasks and processes. AIR tackles the limited resources by using data science techniques to leverage available data to inform critical decision making particularly for interventions that will have an effect on the livelihoods of people. Current projects include; disease and pest control on cassava using artificial intelligence supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, automated techniques of malaria diagnostics, and automated auction market for small holder farmers. More details.
The Networked Systems and Systems Security (NetS) Group focuses on designing affordable, robust and energy-efficient networked systems and digital security solutions that improve livelihoods. This has been applied in the domains of environment monitoring, agriculture, health, commerce and Internet services among others. Current projects are in the areas of Wireless Sensor networks for environment monitoring, Network Security and Malware Management, Security Protocols and authentication systems, Policies, Protocols and Standards for networks in Developing Regions, Opportunistic Networks and Optical Networks,. The group has strong partnerships and collaborations with NORAD and SPIDER, the University of Bergen (Norway), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Xiangtan University (China), Dar es salaam Institute of Technology (Tanzania), University of Rwanda (Rwanda), University of Juba (South Sudan) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya).
The Software Systems Centre (SSC) spearheads software research and innovations geared towards improving the quality of software products and services. The centre provides a link between the academia and industry through which companies in the private and public sector can engage with the university in industry relevant research and innovations. The software centre therefore engages in foundational research and innovations that seek to develop models and tools to support the software engineering discipline and industry. Our main focus areas include health, education, agriculture and governance. The core areas of research include requirements engineering, business process engineering, software quality, systems security and digital innovations. The software systems centre also nurtures prospective software products and services to commercialization in partnership with selected industrial partners. These new products and services are expected to improve livelihoods of people and also impact the national economy and employment.
The Huawei “Seeds for the Future 2017” programme in Uganda was launched in April 2017 at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) in a partnership with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Ministry of Education and Sports, Makerere University, and Huawei Technologies and on Monday 29th May 2017 hosted an event at the Makerere University main hall.
The objective of the event was to officially flag of the 10 winners of the Huawei “Seeds for the Future 2017” programme. It was attended by Hon. John Muyingo (Minister of State for Higher Education), H.E Zheng Zhuqiang (Chinese Ambassador), Prof. Okello Ogwang (Ag. Vice Chancellor, Makerere University), Stanley Chyn (MD, Huawei Technologies Uganda), Dr. E. Kahiigi (Ag. Principal, CoCIS), and other invited guests.
Hon. John Muyingo did the honors of flagging off the 10 winners that will depart for China on Friday 2nd, June 2017. During their two-week trip, they will get the opportunity to experience the Chinese culture, get exposed to the latest in ICT technologies and trends, and gain some valuable work experience at the Huawei’s Technologies headquarters.
Hon. John Muyingo thanked the Chinese government and Huawei Technologies for providing this opportunity to the winners and urged them to be well behaved during this trip since they are representing Uganda abroad. Representing Makerere University will be Mr. Daniel Mutembesa, Ms. Godliver Owomugisha, and Mr. George Joseph Serunjogi. All three are currently Master’s students at the College of Computing and Information Sciences and are also part of the Artificial Intelligence research lab (AI Lab).
The other seven winners are Mr. Jonathan Kigozi (Muni University), Ms. Maria Mwanje (Mbarara University of Science and Technology), Mr. Francis Bukenya (Busitema University), Ms. Hellen Nakayiza and Mr. Marvin Ggaliwango (Lira University), Ms. Sharon Lalam (Gulu University), and Ms. Maria Angela Namuleme (Kyambogo University).
Microsoft will be giving great internship and full-time job opportunities on the 18th May 2017 at the Food Science Conference Hall.
There will be a general session starting at 10:30 am.
This is targeted at all 4th year Engineering students (BSc Software Engineering and all the relevant Engineering programmes in CEDAT).
Masters students in Computing and Engineering who are graduating by early 2018 are also eligible.
Followed will be a special session at 12:30 pm for females (only). Its a pizza lunch and the the ladies have to register at the link below for planning purposes.
Please refer to the attached docs to REGISTER.
The College of Computing and Information Science hosted Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd Uganda that was launching the second edition of its Seeds for the Future program 2017. The guest of honor at the launch was the Hon. Frank Tumwebaze (Minister of ICT and National Guidance) accompanied by Mr. Chu Mao Ming (Deputy Chief of Mission Chinese Embassy to Uganda), Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (DVC, F & A, Makerere University), Mr. Patrick Muinda (Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Information Management, Ministry of Education and Sports Association), Assoc. Prof. G. Maiga (Ag. Principal, CoCIS), and Dr. G. Kiyingi (Dean, EASLIS).
All invited guests were first given a brief about the program that was initially launched in 2016 and saw 10 ICT students get the opportunity to experience the Chinese culture when they travelled to Beijing and Shenzhen. In addition to the culture they were also exposed to the latest technologies, best ICT educational practices, and gained some valuable work experience at the Huawei’s headquarters.
During his speech, the Hon. Frank Tumwebaze thanked Huawei for its Seeds for the Future 2017 initiative that is contributing to the ICT industry in Uganda in terms addressing unemployment, improving the skills of Uganda’s IT professionals etc.
Stanley Chyn (Managing Director, Huawei Uganda) mentioned that the objective for Seeds for the Future 2017 was to select another 10 students for the program and of the 35 that participated in the selection process several were from Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Muni University etc.
A College team that comprised of several heads of department met with Ms. Teresa Mbagaya (Microsoft Education Lead, East & Southern Africa - Microsoft) to discuss how the College and Microsoft can revive their existing partnership and embrace some of the new Microsoft initiatives.
Some of the initiative discussed during the meeting were the on;
- Implementing the Microsoft Education Transformation in Higher Education at Makerere University, College of Computing and IS as a pilot project.
- Reviving the College’s participation in the Imagine Cup which they previously won three years in a row (i.e. 2012, 2013, and 2014). The Cup is a competition that bring together ICT students from all over the world to display their innovations that critical address issues of the world today.
- Setting up of an Imagine Academy in Uganda that can make us more relevant to the ever-changing digital world.
- Applying Microsoft technologies across all the learning trajectories with Office 365 as well as azure (a collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals can use to build, deploy, and manage applications).
All the initiatives were well received and appreciated by the College team and they promised that the College will have students to participate in the Imagine Cup 2017.
The Internet Forum/Public Dialogue was held on 2nd May 2017 at Makerere University, Prof. Buyinza (Director, DRGT) welcomed everyone to the event in particular the Chief Guest, the Honorable State Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze and the Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, H.E Per Lindgarde.
The theme for the public dialogue was “Internet Access and Power: The Case for Uganda” and in his speech, he mentioned how the internet is undoubtedly a powerful technology that has had a tremendous impact on billions of people’s lives by giving access to uncompromised source of information, possibility of communicating directly to individuals all over the globe as well as to millions of people at the same time. He also talked about Uganda being one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to gain full internet connectivity in 1995 and how the current internet connection rate in Uganda stands at 7% out of 38 million Ugandans.
The key objective of the dialogue organized in partnership with the Swedish Embassy, Kampala (U), Hivos Foundation, Unwanted Witness, and College of Computing and IS was to discuss the relevance of internet to the ordinary Ugandan, how they perceive internet as an empowering tool and share their experiences of their interaction with internet and power. Other issues discussed in the forum were how low and middle-income citizens can increase access to internet, how efforts to promote both internet freedom and human rights can be made less dangerous, and issues to do with internet access restrictions in Uganda.
The panel to discuss and engage with Makerere University staff, students and the general public was represented by Dr. Aminah Zawedde (Lecturer, Makerere University) who was present to address the academia perspective, Mr. James Byaruhanga (COO, RokeTelkom) representing the service providers perspective, Mr. Osbert Osamai (Systems Analyst, NITA, Uganda) representing government perspective and Miss. Prudence Nyamushana (Blogger) representing the user’s perspective. Moderating the dialogue was Dr. Evelyn Kahiigi but before deliberations could begin a position paper on “The State of Internet Access and Power in Uganda” was presented by Ms. Dorothy Mukasa, (Unwanted Witness).
Key points mentioned during the dialogue were;
“Internet is not only about infrastructure but people should also put into perspective the need for sensitization about the internet as well as train people on the proper use of it.” (Osbert Osamai)
"Telecoms cannot provide universal (wide coverage) internet to also include all rural areas due to the business model adopted by the Telecoms, lack of funding by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), lack of knowledge about the services provided by the Telecoms, lack of access to smartphones etc.” (James Byaruhanga)
"Government may want to control the demand for internet yet the users are requesting the service providers (telecoms) for more. Because of this the service providers are caught in between and so both sides should learn to co-exist” (James Byaruhanga)
"Government has policy, rules and regulations for internet use in Uganda and these are the regulations that all citizens should abide to but also take into consideration that the policies, rules and regulations of internet use vary from country to country." (Dr. Aminah Zawedde)
The moderator and participants also applauded all the women that attended the public dialogue and encouraged everyone to do their part in decreasing the gender digital gap because the internet too is equally an important tool for women’s empowerment.
In closing Deus Mukalazi (Project Lead, Hivos Foundation) was grateful to all the participants the Swedish Embassy Kampala, Makerere University (College of Computing and Information Sciences), and Unwanted Witness for providing and organizing this multi-stakeholder’s platform and looked forward to the next one.
The College organized and hosted the Science Day on the 24th April 2017 at the Makerere University main hall. This day coincided with the Makerere-Sweden Bilateral Research Programme Annual Planning Meeting (24th- 28th April 2017) under the theme, Making Research Work for Regional Development. The objective of the Science day was to give an opportunity to researchers and scientists at the College to showcase their research projects and any future aspirations. Apart from showcasing the exhibitors also got to discuss and exchange ideas about their projects with the participants.
Some of the research projects exhibited were on Epidemiology intervention without Location – a Blind Guess by Augustus Aturinde, HingiCredit - A Big Data Driven Credit Risk Analysis System for Ugandan Farmers by Grace Kamulegeya, A GIS Based Predictive Model for Prevalence of Infectious Diseases in Sub-saharan Africa: Case Study of Cholera by Nagwovuma Margaret, Supervised by Associate Prof. Maiga Gilbert etc.
In addition to the exhibitions the College also organized for Science Day presentations which were chaired by Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha and Dr. D. Luyombya. The presentations were on Artificial Intelligence for Development Leveraging computational methods to address developing-world challenges by Dr. E. Mwebaze, Open Data Practices for Health Research Institutions by Edward Mukiibi etc.
The event was sponsored by the Swedish Embassy Kampala (U), with collaborating institutions like Gulu University, The Swedish School of Library and Information Science (University of Boras), Lund University, Kyambogo University, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).
Attached is a list and additional information on the Science Day presentations and exhibitors.
Up Accelerate is a one-year initiative implemented by Outbox in partnership with UNFPA and funding from UKAID. It seeks to support young entrepreneurs aged 18 - 30 years that are tackling challenges in sexual and reproductive health in Uganda by providing them with mentorship and seed funding of up-to $10,000 per team and business development training.
The Up Accelerate initiative was developed with support from the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and launched in November 2016 to run until October 2017. The program seeks to support up-to eight (8) startup companies develop their solutions into market ready, scalable and sustainable businesses. Four teams were selected to participate in the first Up Accelerate incubation process. Due to the success of the first initiative, Outbox launched the next call for applications to the second cycle (II). This process involved the identification of opportunity areas the innovators should address, the sourcing and recruitment of applicants through activities that included marketing, boot camps and pitching.
The College of Computing and IS hosted the 4-hour workshop on Monday 10th April 2017. The boot camp was led Mr. Solomon Opio (Capacity Development Lead, Outbox) who introduced himself and laid out the objectives and expectations of the boot camp to the participants.
Some of the objectives of boot camp included:
- Sensitizing and mobilizing young entrepreneurs on the Up Accelerate program process;
- Enabling participants, understand the challenges from the perspective of the end beneficiaries and stakeholders, so that they can act upon them through concept generation.
- Some of the expectations of the Bootcamp included:
- Participants developing an understanding of the challenge areas from the perspective of various stakeholders and end beneficiaries;
- Participants identifying opportunities for change in relation to the challenges identified.
Also shared with the participants were the Up Accelerate Cycle II Challenges whereby a challenge is an area that will have a significant change or impact on the Uganda Health care system. For example;
- How might we improve demand and access to essential maternal health medicines and supplies in Uganda?
- How might we improve the use of data in health care planning, monitoring and delivering?
Concluding the workshop, a debrief on lessons learned and a survey were given to each participant to be able to allow the facilitator’s get feedback about the program.