A team of Makerere University second year students of B.Sc. Software Engineering have won the first prize for the Huawei African Information and Computer Technology (ICT) competition 2021-2022.

The Huawei ICT competition is an annual international competition and communication platform for university students and higher education institutions within the Huawei ICT Academy program aimed at promoting innovation among African universities and institutions of higher learning. Over 2500 students compete annually

Huawei is a leading global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices. The awarding ceremony was graced by State Minister for Higher Education Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo at the grand finale event held in South Africa under the theme, “Connection, Glory, Future”.

A team of three Makerere university students codenamed, “KILO-TECH” designed a QuickTest App for blood diagonosis without pricking of blood from the patient, The QuickTest App is An embedded mobile application system to diagnose blood diseases mainly HIV/AIDS and Malaria without pricking the patient.
The team was led by Rutanana Arnold. Others are Nakyanzi Catherine (also Vice President CoCIS) and Nsengiyumva Wiberforce.

The key benefit of the QuickTest App System is to reduce blood disease diagnosis time. It is designed in such way that a patient just logs in the app, place the thumb on the scanner, and get the test results.

Click and play the QuickTest app demo attached

 

Makerere University lead instructor Mr. Daniel Kateregga said Uganda has one of the highest global burdens of malaria cases, with over 90% of the population at risk, malaria remains Uganda’s leading cause of death, especially in children.

Mak Lead instructor Mr. Daniel Kateregga

Kateregga said, being a mobile application, the QuickTest app can be used anywhere in the world as long as the person has a smartphone.
“The new Makerere students technology is life-saving in terms of costs for government they incure in buying kits for the hospitals and also saving costs on the patients side interms of transport going to hospital and also reducing on stigmatization because the patient will be afraid of the doctor or other people knowing their HIV status.

The application is on your phone and you are diagonised using your phone and the data is being uploaded onto the Ministry of Health servers. So the Ministry of Health knows the patients diagnosed of particular diseases and can send support in terms of sensitization and medication”, Mr. Kateregga said.

He observed that Uganda is one the countries spending billions buying HIV and malaria testing kits hence the technology aims at reducing the burden on the budget on such expenses in Uganda and world wide.

UNESCO and government of Uganda according to Kateregga has got information about this technology and expressed interest.

The QuickTest app he said will increase awareness of HIV and Malaria since any time and from anywhere the person does not feel well, they can just do the test.

Since Malaria and HIV tests are always paid for by people, the Mak app will in addition, reduce these costs since it will only require a person to subscribe once a month or yearly and they then do the test any time they want in their places of convenience. This will impact the community economically and health-wise

Students posing for a group photo with Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo after the award

The Principal College of Computing and Information Sciences Prof. Tonny Oyana said, Makerere University’s first victory in Huawei ICT competition was recorded in 2018-2019 when the College emerged winner. Second year students with the assistance of finalists develop proposals and compete locally from the college to national, regional up to the continental level.

The 2021-2022 competitions started in December 2021 coming through different levels where many universities competed and Makerere emerged winner with two teams in the first and second position. Muni university got the 3rd position in Uganda and only one team was to compete for the regional final to represent Uganda. Makerere university’s KILO-TECH team with its new QuickTest technology represented Uganda in the region. It competed and got the 3rd position from the 10 countries that competed in the Innovation track for Africa.

Prof. Tonny Oyana said, since the 2018-2019 competitions, the college has now established a tradition of being the best ICT innovations in Africa – aligned with its core objective to be the best in ICT in the region.

Commenting the South African win, Prof. Oyana said, the college has been fortunate to take the first prize.

Prof. Oyana extended appreciation to the Vice chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and the President of the Republic of Uganda for the publicity. Information from the competition in South Africa was got via the duo’s official twitter accounts.

“The college has produced outstanding innovators who are recognized in the continent and beyond. So, we are very fortunate again to take this position and to get the recognition from the Vice chancellor and the President because that gives us prestige but also demands to do more to advance this area of innovations especially providing real solutions that can help in other sectors of Uganda.

So we are extremely excited and privileged to take this honor and even do more. It will inspire young innovators who want to associate with prestige and high quality innovations”,the Principal said.

Prof. Oyana also thanked students and faculty for maintaining the name of the college and keeping Makerere university’s name high and shining.

President Yoweri Museveni and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulate Mak students

President Yoweri Museveni on his official twitter account quoted on several media posts congratulated Makerere students for winning the Huawei ICT competitions for sub-Saharan Africa.

“I congratulate Makerere university students for winning the Huawei ICT competitions for sub-Saharan Africa. I call upon you to use these skills to innovate and create jobs for yourselves and others and wish you luck in the global completion”, The Presidents advised.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in his tweet @ProfNawangwe congratulated the team upon this victory.

“Uganda’s flag rises high again as Makerereans win the @Huawei continental ICT competition, at a grand finale event held in South Africa. I congratulate the team on this great representation”, Prof. Nawangwe wrote.

The university Community has received the news with pride.

“Congratulations to the team. Makerere has the potential to be the leading research university in Africa. The government should give it all the money needed. This will enable it to attract and retain the best researchers.” Prof. Jamil Mujuzi tweeted.

Read more: https://www.newvision.co.ug/articledetails/131358
Compiled by;
Jane Anyango
Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS

Spatial data capture is becoming easier due to reduction in cost and technologies thus attracting many players at different times for the same location who often use different methods, instruments and data storage structures.

These datasets can be integrated through direct merging however, it creates geometrical errors in form of slivers and danglings emanating from the openings and overlaps of objects. Attempts to address this limitation have not achieved the duo objective of removing the errors and maintaining the geometrical characteristics of objects.

Wadembere Ismail Presenting

To minimize the geometrical errors Mr. Wadembere Ismail a PhD student at the college carried out a study and developed a Localized Geometrical Alignment Technique (LGAT) for updating geo-spatial datasets. The technique provides an innovative approach of integrating multitude of vector datasets having spatial topological and attributes inconsistencies from different agencies.

Mr. Wadembere was ably supervised by Prof. Patrick Ogao, and Prof. Moses Musingunzi.

PhD Defense Panel Members and members of the Public

He successfully presented the findings of the study for award of PhD of Makerere University to a panel chaired by Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga(Dean School of Information Technolory at CoCIS) flanked by Dr. Paul Mukwaya (internal examiner), Prof Anthony Gidudu (Internal Examiner), Dr. Peter Nabende( Chair Department of Information Systems), Dr. Anabella Habinka, Dr. Irene Arinitwe, Dr. Rashida Kasawuli, The Opponent was Assoc. Prof. Faith Njoki Karanja Chair Geospatial and Space Technology University of Nairobi.

Abstract Attached Here.Abstract_Feb2022_Ismail

Researchers from Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) in collaboration with other universities and institutions are going to develop technology that can automate the process of monitoring bees and fruit flies for purposes of controlling their population on farms and in the wild.

Prof. Tony Oyana, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Dr. Susanne Sansa Otima and other participants during the project launch

The project dubbed, “Adaptive Environment Monitoring Network AfricA (AdEMNEA)” that will deploy applications for bee protection and fruit fly control in East Africa was launched on Friday 25th February 2022 by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University represented by his Deputy in Charge of Finance and Administration Prof. Henry Alinaitwe.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor during the project launch

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor during the project launch

This is a collaborative project being led by Prof. Stephen Wolthusen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology (NTNU).

Dr. Julianne Nsasa Otim making her remarks during the project launch

Dr. Julianne Nsasa Otim making her remarks during the project launch

At Makerere university the project is being led by Dr. Julianne Nsasa-Otim with staff from the College of Engineering Design and Art (CEDAT) and the college of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB). Other partnering institutions are Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (Tanzania), University of Juba (South Sudan)
and the University of Bergen (Norway), the Uganda Meteorological Authority, NaCCRI and NARO. Other partners are the Ministry of Agriculture (MAAIF), The Uganda National Apiary Development Organisation (TUNADO, Research and Education Network for Uganda (RENU) and Fruit / Bee farmers: (Nwoya fruit growers cooperative society and Green Zabu Farm).

The Project is funded by NORAD under the NORHED II programme supported for five years with main emphasis on Southern partners. It builds on positive experience and results from the WIMEA project funded under the NORHED I framework with several other projects currently funded with NTNU and Makerere as partners.

While officially launching the project at the CoCIS premises, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe thanked the project team and the college for the initiative.

“We thank the Norwegian government for providing the funding and the Norwegian universities plus the partnering institutions for providing support.

We would like to thank Dr. Julianne Sansa and the team for putting the proposal together and winning this grant and for bring many partners together who stand to benefit from this project”, Prof. Alinaitwe appreciated.

Prof. Tony Oyana making his remarks

Prof. Tony Oyana making his remarks

The Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tony Oyana said computer science is one discipline that is going to cross a number of disciplines noting that when scholarship is done together, a better job is done to solve societal problems.

The Principal Commended Dr. Sansa for representing the university effectively.

“When we go back to the project WIMEA, it has a rich deep history with the department and the college and you did a wonderful job when you walked five years and finished the project, the credit does not only go to you but also to the university and country and you can see some of the outcomes are being displayed here.

She has walked a fine journey and she did not exhaust herself, that is why she has brought another project. So, we want to thank you for your contribution to the university and country and our college in terms of training and research that has churned out a lot of products such as publications and applications that are working effectively in the field”, Prof. Oyana appreciated.

Prof. Stephen Wolthusen

Prof. Stephen Wolthusen

Presenting online, the Lead Investigator Prof. Stephen Wolthusen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said, the project goal is to design, develop, and deploy a flexible network of data gathering and monitoring stations for meteorological data as well as a wide variety of data including audio, image, and video data as well as field reports and telemetry data, integrating both existing sensing platforms and customized components for specific research areas.

“The application domain is to support entomologists studying ways to enhance protection of pollinators (bees) and control of pests (fruit flies) in a changing environment based on timely data and with machine learning (AI) support”. Prof. Wolthusen said.

He said the project seeks to support interdisciplinary research and capacity-building for research and supervision through funding and co-supervision of M.Sc. and Ph.D. projects, mobility and fieldwork support.

This he said, will help in educating new academics and to support the international recognition and progression of co-investigators.

The Principal Investigator Makerere University Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim said, bees are endangered yet they are the most important pollinator responsible for most of the fruits and vegetables. Bees according to Dr. Nsansa contribute towards biodiversity as other creatures rely on them for existence (e.g. beetles, burgers and also provide products e.g honey, propolis, wax are important in medicine, food preparation, skin care and hair care).

She reported that monitoring insects has traditionally been via manual observation and count by specialists such as entomologists and extension workers yet there are few specialists in Uganda and Africa that makes this method ineffective.

“Recent technologies (audio-visual sensors, resilient networks & artificial intelligence) can be applied to automate the monitoring towards bee protection and fruit fly control.

This project is going to develop technology that can automate the process of monitoring bees and fruit flies for purposes of controlling their population on farms and in the wild”. Dr. Nsasa said.

She said fruit flies are known to be the biggest pests affecting mangoes leading to losses and likewise the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Industry and Fisheries that is responsible for monitoring and controlling pests is limited by the number of specialists.

Dr. Deborah Ruth Amulem speaking during the launch

Dr. Deborah Ruth Amulen from CoVAB said although bees constitute 70% of the worlds crop pollination, their population has declined due to pesticide application, climate change, land use change and diseases.

Amulen said there is need for an automated bee data because normal bee keeper inspection is time consuming, requires skills and knowledge, disrupts inside hive micro climate and risk of distributing bee diseases while useful variables such as temperature, humidity, gases cannot be ascertained.

“ Sensors should enable identify potential problems in colonies bee keepers can correct”

Manual way of inspecting bees

Manual way of inspecting bees

Dr. Amulen also said regular inspection of fruit fly traps is inconvenient, misses out on critical data points e.g., phenotype, density, diversity and relationships between variables such as population and weather toward prediction of infestation.

Traditional way of monitoring fruit flytraps

Traditional way of monitoring fruit flytraps

Dr. Rose Nakibule said the project plan is to have an integrated device, with multiple sensors for collecting insect specific, environmental and weather data.

Dr. Rose Nakibule speaking during the launch

“The concern is to help speed up the process of collecting and monitoring bees using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning”, she said.

Report compiled by;
Jane Anyango
Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS

On Tuesday 15th February 2022, the Vice Chancellor signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at supporting blended learning by enabling staff and students acquire laptops on hire purchase basis.

For details, please follow the link below:
https://news.mak.ac.ug/2022/02/mak-signs-laptop-loan-scheme-agreement-with-stanbic-bank

The MoU was signed on behalf of Makerere and Stanbic by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and CEO Anne Juuko respectively. TheDirector Legal Affairs-Mr. Javason Kamugisha and Head Legal Department-Candy Okoboi signed as witnesses on behalf of Makerere
University and Stanbic respectively.

Dr. Joyce Bukirwa out-going Head of Dept for Library and Information Science handed over office to newly appointed substantive Head of Department Dr. Sarah Kaddu.Ceremony was on Thursday 10th February 2022 at the East African School of Library and Information Science(EASLIS).

Dr. Joyce Bukirwa out-going Head of Department for Library and Information Science handed over office to newly appointed substantive Head of Department Dr. Sarah Kaddu the Ceremony was on Thursday 10th February 2022 at the East African School of Library and Information Science EASLIS .

Four freshers from the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) won gifts worth 100 thousand shillings each in an Orientation Raffle as a way of welcoming freshers’ to the university on 8th February, 2022.

The scholastic package comprised a school bag, a ream of printing paper, books, pens, a diary, a college file folder and a ruler.

Over 700 first year students assembled for the CoCIS college-wide orientation in the Big Lab 2, level 2, Block B where they were addressed by the college leadership led by the Principal Prof. Tonny Oyana and administrative staff.

Female Student Receives Award from the Principal during Orientation

After listening to the different speeches, students were given orientation raffle tickets and a few randomly selected and asked questions to test their attention, comprehension and listening skills during the orientation exercise.

Some of the questions poised included who the Academic Registrar of Makerere university is, the name of CoCIS Principal, the university title for the head of a school and department under which specific programmes fall in the college. Freshers were also asked how many blocks make up CoCIS, where deans and heads for specific units sit in the college and to spell out common abbreviations such as CoCIS, EASLIS, SCIT etc.

The Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana welcomed new students to the university and the college in particular. Oyana tipped freshers on key issues to success imploring them to balance academic and social life.

“Social life is part of the academic success. Do your work and focus on academics as your number one priority. Studying is painful and not fun but, these painful experiences are good for character development and success in life.

Exercise self-discipline and avoid joining the choir of strikes because you will be dismissed alone. Be thoughtful of your actions that is why you are in the university to think for yourself”, Prof. Oyana warned.

Referring students to the Book of James in Bible, the Principal emphasised virtues including character, wisdom and endurance. Oyana said, young people normally want easy things and give up easily. He advised freshers not to apportion blame on lecturers but, always ask how much effort they put in to understand their instructors.

“Be good citizens, don’t do bad things, go and do well , enjoy the university and make friends”, the professor advised.

The Dean School of Computing and Informatics Technology Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga inducted students on the composition of the school, departments and the role of the school dean.

Dr. Gilbert Maiga Dean School of Computing and Informatics Technology

Dr. Maiga informed students that they have joined the university which now they must know is 100 years since it was founded with a very proud tradition of academics in Uganda, the region, Africa and the continent.

He warned students not put socialising, sports and prayer at the center, but prioritise academics pledging to offer the necessary support required to make their study at Makerere enjoyable.

“My prayer is that you will do what it takes to get a degree. When you are here, conduct yourself according to those traditions. Let’s build this country as per our motto, We Build for the Future.
While at university the central focus is academics. There are other things like socialising, sports that support the central theme. I encourage you to take 80% of your time to study, there are people to support you”. Dr. Maiga advised.

The Chair Department of Computer Sciences Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha said although it has been a long wait to have the students due to COVID 19 challenges, the department has been preparing and was glad to receive the freshers.

Chair Department of Computer Sciences Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha

Bainomugisha informed students of the programmes offered in the unit describing the BSc in Computer Science as the entry level program they will undertake as they advance to other offers.

“You made a good choice because we are in a digital transformational era where we are expected to find computational ways to solve complex societal problems and you must be ready.

When others are complaining about online teaching and learning, start thinking of how you can innovate to make online learning more interesting. You have selected the best place to offer you computer science because its known and the education you receive will be at the level offered worldwide”, Dr. Bainomugisha asserted.

Bainomugisha implored freshers to have the required tools and to be ready to balance and appreciate theory and practicals so as to acquire the skills and knowledge and not just to pass through the system.

The Chair Department of Networks Dr. Swaib Kyanda advised students to be responsible and have self-drive saying, nobody at the university will follow up on them to do the usual like waking up and attending lectures.

The Chair Department of Networks Dr. Swaib Kyanda

“Be mature. You need to abide by the deadlines and follow instructions because they are critical for you to get through the system. You will select class representatives through whom all class challenges will be aired but our doors are also open.” He said.

 

The Chair Department of Information Systems Dr. Peter Nabende pledged to provide the necessary resources to enable students to get started. Dr. Nabende implored students to get the curriculum for the programs.

Dr. Peter Nabende Chair Department of Information Systems

“The curriculum is a very important document that makes your journey at Makerere smoother because it spells out what is needed to be done to satisfy your degree requirement”. Said Dr,. Nabende.

 

The coordinator Online /ODEL learning Dr Agaba Joab informed freshers that the university adopted the blended learning using online means where all content is to be deposited on MUELE platform and therefore should get used to the platform.

The Coordinator Open Distance and e-Learning (ODEL) Dr Agaba Joab

Agaba warned students to desist from Sexual harassment describing it as a vice in all higher education institutions that every student should not be taken for naivety.

He urged students to know their rights and avoid bad behaviour and dress code that make them vulnerable adding that the university has a policy on sexual harassment that is accessible online.

“If you are disturbed in any way, try to gather evidence and come. Sexual Harassment is something the Vice Chancellor gave Zero-Tolerance. But where there is consent, don’t disturb us.

I want also to warn you against indecent dressing termed as “flashing” where girls target to confuse lecturers. Learn to dress decently. You cannot advertise yourself and when buyers come, you complain”, Dr. Agaba warned.

The students were also furnished with information and advice by administrators on issues of admission, fees payment, registration, the University academic calendar and change of program. They were also advised on matters of personal security and guarding against examination malpractices.

Report Compiled by,
Jane Anyango
Principal Communication Officer CoCIS

Mbusa Joseph, a student from the College of Computing and Information Sciences undertaking a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems and Technology is set to attend the Africa Internet of Things (IOT) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Challenge finals in Jumeirah Towers in Dubai, UAE from 12th-18th December 2021.

Mr. Mbusa Joseph who is also CoCIS College president emerged as the best during the National competition of the (IOT) & (AI) Challenge in Uganda which took place on Thursday 18th November 2021 at the National ICT Hub premises at Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Nakawa . Mr. Mbusa Joseph and others trounced their counterparts from Kabale and Busitema University.

Mbusa was among the Mak team that developed a technology dubbed, “ Ntaasa Emergency system”, to improve communication between the emergency service providers (Ambulances, Police, firefighters, and health works) and the Ugandan citizen.

“I Congratulate Makerere University upon having students at the final National Competitions in which the best candidates will represent Uganda at the regional and continental levels in Dubai on the 13th December 2021”, said Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Chairman and Managing Director UTAMU Research and Innovation City (UTAMURIC)- an umbrella Research and Innovation non-profit organization that promotes research, innovation, business incubation and startups in Africa.

Injury and medical emergencies are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Uganda. The burden has cost the country massively in terms of human life.

This is partly attributed to inadequate means of communication between the Ugandan citizens and the emergency service providers (Ambulances, Police, and Health services. There is also an inadequate means of reporting violence and crime to the stakeholders.

It is for this and other reasons that students wrote a proposal to develop sustainable solutions that will increase access to emergency medical and security services across the country and reduce preventable deaths of Ugandans as government works towards rolling out the National Emergency Medical Service.

“The goal and objective (s) of this project is to save lives with the use of technology, bridge the communication gap between the emergency service providers and the Ugandan citizen and to improve crime reporting and other unacceptable conditions in society to the police and other stakeholders”, Mr. Mbusa said.

Users download the application from google play store by search keyword, “Ntaasa Emergency system” and then install that application on their phone.

The name and phone number of the person get registered in the software application for quick back and forth communication with the service provider and the victim. The user then gets access to all the service providers’ contact information so that they can call them or send SMS to them.

“Service providers give us toll free numbers, however, if they do not have a toll-free number then, they give us a paid number. For users that are not able to connect to the internet, we shall have an SMS short code where they can place their requests and our agents will be responding and connecting to them in real-time,”, said Mr. Mbusa Joseph.

Africa IoT & AI Challenge

Africa IoT & AI Challenge is a continent-wide program for senior university students and startups that have innovative ideas in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related fields. The challenge is co-organized by several national and international partners like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with its dedicated society for Technology and Engineering Management (IEEE TEMS), and different universities, corporates, and governmental entities in Africa

“On behalf of the steering committee of the Africa IoT & AI Challenge, I cordially invite you to participate in the finals of the Africa challenge among the activities of IEEE Global Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Internet of Things (IEEE GCAIoT ) 21”, Mr. Mohamed Aboud, Chairman of Africa IoT & AI Challenge Program stated in his invitation letter to Mak students.

Click on the news link below and start viewing at 19 minutes

Compiled by
Anyango Jane
Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS