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The team led by Dr. Ssekakubo (Africa Development Bank), Prof. P. Muyinda (Principal, College of Education and External Studies) Dr. John Okuonzi (Kyambogo University), and Sybyl former Computer Point (Project contractors) met with College Representatives Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga and Dr. Florence Kivunike (Head of ICT Support Services) to appraise the donation of 200 thin client computers, 6 servers and 4 switches to setup a new computer laboratory at the College.
The Support to Higher Education, Science and Technology (HEST) Project aims to contribute to building Uganda’s human capital skills development capacity—particularly in education, science and technology—to respond to labor market demands and spur productivity nationally. Its objective is to improve equitable access, quality and relevance of skills training and research leading to job creation and self-employment. It involves the active participation of six public universities and two degree awarding tertiary institutions in skills training, at the various levels of higher learning. The strategic outcomes of the project are access to HEST and information and communication technology (ICT) for delivery of HEST and improved quality and relevance of HEST in target public universities and degree-awarding tertiary institutions, leading to stronger links to the productive sector. The project is aligned to the country’s National Development Plan 2010/2011–2014/2015 that aims at making Uganda an industrialized economy in 2025 through the provision of higher level skills.
The team concluded the visit by getting the opportunity to tour some of the latest research project going on at the College specifically in the Artificial intelligence Lab.
- Training for Sustainable Spatially Enabled e-Services Delivery in Uganda (TSSEED). This project supports students to train along the themes of: spatial predictive modeling for prevalence of infectious diseases, epidemiology intervention without location, a public participatory GIS for planning e- services for solid waste management, Spatial-temporal modeling of nodding syndrome and spatial temporal Modeling of Mobile Microscopic Diseases. (Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga).
- Empowerment for Strengthen Research Capacity in Library and Information Science education to support Knowledge and Information Production and Sharing for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation and Development in Uganda. (Principal Investigator; Dr. William Kiyingi).
- Building Research Capacity in Innovative Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) for Sustainable Socio-economic Growth in Uganda. (Principal Investigator; Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha).
Written by Alum Patricia
The System Software Center, in the College of Computing and Information Sciences at Makerere University hosted a presentation on 11thJuly 2017 with the theme “Getting to Grips with National Cyber Security”, presented by the celebrated Eng. Dr. FF. Tusubira, CEO of the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Networking. The aim of the presentation was to create awareness about national cybersecurity, its importance and how best to curb it.
The presenter focused his presentation on the need for Uganda as a country to concentrate on getting a grip on national cybersecurity by citing instances where networks in different countries were hacked. He cited several instances where IT security was compromised, e.g. August 2016 when a group of hackers known as shadow brokers hacked the National Security Agency [NSA] and released hacking tools that were created by the NSA into the public, a power blackout in the capital city of Ukraine, Kiev in December 2016, and the hacking of Uganda Revenue Authority where the organization lost approximately 2 billion UG shillings to hackers using a computer system.
According to Eng. Tusubira the best way to curb national cybersecurity is by starting on a personal level, creating awareness among children, risk management behavior enterprise, and also understanding where a threat can be induced from e.g. by insiders of an organization, hackers, extremist organizations, investigative journalists, industrial espionage etc. He added that measures can be taken to counter the threat like malicious code protection, effective information security governance, incident management practices, and testing of the system to ensure it is hack proof.
The presenter concluded by quoting the words of Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist who wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit” meaning that the country as a whole should engage in early cybersecurity measures in order to avoid the effects of national cybersecurity crisis.
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.