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Thursday, 29 September 2016 00:00

Signing of an MOU between CoCIS & Centum Learning Ltd.

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On April 12th, 2016 Google announced its commitment to train 1 million young people in Africa on digital skills in the next year, as part of their contribution to growing Africa’s digital economy. With an expected half a billion internet users in Africa by 2020, there are huge opportunities for African businesses and young digital entrepreneurs. If young people have the right skills, they can build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent.

With this in mind the College of Computing and IS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Centum Learning Ltd. to address this issue and equip a million young Africans (18 ­ 35 years) with digital skills and tools to help them build an online presence, create content, understand web design and user experience, social media and app development.

Centum Learning Ltd.­ is a leading capacity building and digital education provider that has been sponsored by Google to deliver this training to youth across Africa as part of their Digital Skills for Africa initiative. Due to this sponsorship, the trainers and the content for training are offered to all participants free of charge.

The College of Computing and IS will be the first institution across Uganda to roll out this initiative on Digital Literacy for youth. The training will include some of the following modules; Introduction to the digital world; Marketing and digital marketing; How technology affects business; and Principles of the digital world.

According to the MOU Centum Learning Ltd. will be responsible for the following

  • Customize content as per level of target audience.
  • Conduct the Training.
  • Conduct Training of Trainers (TOT) for identified in-house training for sustainable training delivery in future.
  • Provide posters, banners and social media tags for communicating the program.
  • Ascertain adequacy of venue.

while the College of Computing and IS, Makerere University will;

  • Provide training venue, chairs and tables for the seating capacity.
  • Mobilize students/participants to attend (emails, sms to students/associates).
  • Provide audio /visual equipment - projector, screen etc.
  • Provide Security Guards/marshals (Male & Female) to restrict the unauthorized entry.

The training is scheduled to commence on the 15th of October 2016 and end on the 10th of December 2016. Upon completion of the training participants will get a Google Certificate so as to have a head start over other competitors in the Digital domain.

The Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) is a professional organization that articulates the interests of the Library and Information profession in Uganda. The association was founded in 1972 as an offshoot from the East African Library Association (EALA) founded in 1957. The association grew out of a desire to express collective aspirations in regard to the development of the profession.

Some of the objectives and strategic plan for ULIA are the development of a reading culture; interventions into national, public and school library development; Information and Communication technology adoption and use by library and information networks; LIS curriculum development issues; continuing professional and career development for LIS professionals; engagement of government, civil society organizations and the media on challenges affecting the development of the Library and Information profession.

A handover ceremony was held on the 8th September 2016 for the outgoing executive (ULIA) to the new executive (ULIA). The previous executive was led by their President Prof. Constance Okello-Obura (Principal, CoCIS) accompanied by Mr. Simon Engitu (General Secretary, ULIA), and Ms. Winny Akullo Nekesa (Publicity Secretary).

In his speech, the President welcomed the new Executive and promised them good collaboration from him and all members of ULIA. He promised his availability whenever there’s need of any support from him and will to continue serving the association. As part of the handover ceremony some of the following were discussed and handed over accordingly;

  • Current Association Constitution/By Laws/Standing Orders etc.
  • Minute Books with minutes from all meetings since ULIA commenced.
  • A list of important issues/projects, which need to be followed up or continued by the new executive.
  • Books of Accounts for current and previous years.
  • Cheques and Receipt books.
  • ULIA Assets.
  • Change of Signatories and any investment funds etc.

The new ULIA executive President Dr. Sarah Kaddu and her new team that was voted in also includes Mr. Nabongo Godfrey (Vice President), Mr. Charles Batambuze (Secretary General), Mr. Timu Godfrey (National Treasurer), and Ms. Winny Akullo Nekesa (Publicity Secretary). In her speech, she was honored to be the first female president of the association and committed to promoting unity among all ULIA members. She also pledged to work with all library associations’ countrywide to ensure an increase in the number of ULIA members.

To conclude, the outgoing executive members were handed certificates for their outstanding work during their term in office. The ceremony was capped off with a cocktail as they interacted amongst themselves for solutions on the way forward for ULIA.

 

 

Makerere University through the Office of the University Secretary embarked on a strategy to sensitize all university students about the new fees policy.  This strategy gives both the University management and students the opportunity to interact regarding the new fees policy.

On the 21st September 2016, the College welcomed the University management team led by Mr. Stephen Kateega (Dean of Students) to meet and interact with the College students. The meeting was held in Block B, Big Lab, Level 2 and attracted approximately 600 students.

Briefly, the new fees policy states that new students pay 60% of their tuition fees (including functional fees) to receive an admission letter while continuing students must pay a commitment fee of 200,000 by the 6th week of the semester. Students that do not clear and adhere to the deadlines are fined 5% of the outstanding balance and 20,000 UgShs for late payment. Click here for details.

Other issues brought up for discussion based on the agenda circulated included; the collection of invoices from the College Accounts office; the CEMAS System and its implication for 1st year and continuing students; students sponsored by agencies collection of receipts from College Accounts office; Help desk on fees matters; balances brought forward from previous semesters; and any other fees related matters.

Students were advised to take note of the commitment fee deadline extension to the 6th week ending 30th September beyond which a fine of 20,000 UgShs arises. Students were also encouraged to know their rights and obligations so as to avoid the challenges of their University experience.

On closing the meeting Ms. Jackie Ayorekyire (Head, Revenue Collection Unit) noted the attentiveness of the students during the meeting, thanked them for attending and kindly requested that they pass on the message to those that could not make it.

 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 00:00

WIMEA-ICT (Research Component 3)

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WIMEA-ICT is a combined research and capacity building project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development
Cooperation (Norad) under the NORHED (Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and
Research for Development) scheme. It is a cooperation between Makerere University in Uganda (host institution),
Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) in Tanzania, the University of Juba in South Sudan and the Geophysical
Institute of the University of Bergen.
To Assist Meteorological Services in increasing the number of Automatic Weather Stations( AWS) in Uganda, South
Sudan and Tanzania by designing, testing, and evaluating First Generation and 2nd Generation prototype robust AWS
in Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan
.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 00:00

IUCEA - DAAD Delegation Visit the College

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A delegation from Inter-University Council East Africa (IUCEA) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) that was comprised of Mr. Alvin Manko ICT, (Inter-University Council for East Africa), Ms. Karol Hahn (GIZ), Ms. Dorothy Weyler (DAAD), and Prof. Christophe Bobda (University of Arkinsas) visited the College of Computing and IS (CoCIS) to meet with Dr. Agnes Rwashana (Deputy Principal), Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga (Dean, School of Computing and IT), Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha (Head of Department, Computer Science) and Dr. Benjamin Kanagwa, (Senior Lecturer) to discuss how the College could benefit from a collaboration with IUCEA - DAAD.

It should be noted that IUCEA has the following objectives

  • Facilitate networking among universities in East Africa, and with Universities outside the region;
  • Provide a forum for discussion on a wide range of academic and other matters relating to higher education in East Africa; and
  • Facilitate maintenance of internationally comparable education standards in East Africa so as to promote the region's competitiveness in higher education.

Whereas DAAD is a private, federally funded and state-funded, self-governing national agency of the institutions of higher education in Germany that awards competitive, merit-based grants for use toward study and/or research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education. In addition the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) specializes in the areas of economic development and employment; democracy and poverty reduction; health and social security; education, agriculture etc. 

The agenda of meeting was for the IUCEA-DAAD team to get a better understanding of

  • How the College of Computing and IS operates both academically and administratively (i.e. College organogram, number of staff and students, degree programs offered etc.);
  • The challenges and achievements of College Research and other projects; and
  • The challenges, benefits, achievements (areas of economic development) of the Software Incubation Center that is housed in the Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD) including any other centers e.g. Microsoft Incubation Center (MIC), Global Business Labs etc.

In conclusion, the IUCEA - DAAD team was highly impressed with the high student numbers, available facilities (lecture halls and computer labs), research (Artificial Intelligence, AI Lab), partnerships (Kampala City Council Authority, Uganda Police Force, National Information Technology Authority Uganda etc. Because of these achievements the IUCEA - DAAD team promised to look into ways of providing support to the College specifically in the areas of Information and Communication Technology.

 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 00:00

CoCIS Monthly Digest Vol. 1 Issue 1, 7th Sept 2016

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CoCIS Monthly Digest Vol. 1 Issue 1, 7th Sept 2016

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 00:00

ReadytoWork Programme

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Barclay Bank (U), BrighterMonday, Uganda, and the College of Computing and IS are partnering up to provide College students with the essential work skills, people skills, money skills and entrepreneurial skills that they will need to make them employable. These skills are to help students adapt from an academic based environment to a working environment.

ReadytoWork is to be launched on the 22nd and 23rd Sept 2016 at the College of Computing and IS. During the two days during students will be sensitized about the programme and get the opportunity to sign up for the 8 weeks training. The programme is free and online based (using computer, tablet or mobile platforms) but will also provide for weekly face to face interactions. 

Upon completion successful students of the programme will be able to access internship/employment opportunities with industry partners (e.g. Airtel, Brighter Monday, British Council, IMG etc.). For addtional information visit the following link. ReadytoWork

The Participatory Road Infrastructure Monitoring in Kampala was held on the September 14, 2016 and hosted at the Software Systems Center, School of Computing and IT, Makerere University. The half day workshop attracted 25 participants with diverse backgrounds in the ICT industry.

As part of the agenda the participants introduced themselves and presentations on the Overview of road infrastructure monitoring project and Pilot crowdsourcing and visualization’s of road anomalies were facilitated by Mr. Isaac Oteyo and Mr. Moses Malele.                     

A walk through demonstration of the developed tools (i.e. the mobile app) followed with the use of 5 devices. The participants broke off into 5 groups of 5 during this session and received details instructions on how to use the app. The app was considered to be user friendly and although the software crashed on one of the devices, there were suggestions for the need of regular software upgrades should the app eventually be deployed.

The key objective of the workshop was the discussions and evaluation of the developed tools session. During this session several ideas were shared namely;

  • Provide an SMS platform for users that are not able to afford smart phones but still want to participate in road infrastructure monitoring.
  • Feedback format for users using the app (i.e. Thank you for sending the info.).
  • Provide details description of the potholes captured. The collated data sets could be valuable to other authorities’ (i.e. Uganda Police Force, Uganda Revenue Authority etc.) who can use it for analysis.

To conclude, participants filled and submitted evaluation forms with feedback deemed important to the project.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 00:00

New Semester Seminars

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This is the first semester with 10 seminars in 4 weeks.

Monday, 05 September 2016 00:00

IDLEL 07 Conference

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The IDLEL07 conference on Open Source solutions was held from 22nd to 24th August at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort. The theme of the conference was Open source solutions for open government and open data in Africa. The primary goal of IDLELO7 is to increase the awareness, integration and adoption of free and open source software (FOSS) in Africa within the theme emphasizing how such Free and Open Source solutions are being used to achieve Open Data and Open Government frameworks. This entails promoting Open Source software sharing in Africa.

The speakers included; Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance. The minister said that the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance had prioritized research and innovation as one of the key areas of focus of the medium and long term. The minister also presented the ICT sector strategy and investment plan priorities innovation to create a systematic and enabling environment for the advancement of FOSS.

Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation presented on the role of FOSS in fostering science related software to the real-world problems and research and development is essential, and the government was committed to this. He also said that Software Development is young but with a gross potential

Nnenna Nwakanma; the Africa Regional Director Web Foundation from Ghana also presented on Open data for sustainable Development in Africa. She shared the confluence of Open things – Open Governance, Open Data, Open Solutions and tasked Uganda to join Open Data Partnership. She also encouraged young people to go past developing apps to providing solutions, for local problems and encouraged women and girls get into ICT and innovation

Seun Ojedeji, a member of the Free and open source software foundation Africa (FOSSFA) recognized that NITA-U has a role in drafting the nationwide FOSS policies. He also recognized communities like; COSIS, ILICIT Africa, Outbox, UN Global Pulse Lab, Women of Uganda Network, Incubation Labs MUK. He also officially invited NITA-U to become a FOSSFA Member. Mr. Seun announced the host of IDLELO8 as Durban, South Africa.

Other speakers included Mr. James Saaka, the Executive director of the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U),Linnet Kwamboka, the CEO of Data Science Kenya, James Wire from CURED limited Uganda and Professor Patrick Mangeni, a former NITA-U board member.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of ICT and National guidance in partnership with NITA Uganda, Huawei, the Free and open source software foundation Africa (FOSSFA), Makerere University.

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