31 May 2018
IST-Africa Week 2018, which took place in the Gaborone International Conference Centre Botswana, put international research cooperation and African innovation under the spotlight. Over 400 delegates from leading public, private, education and research, societal and funding sector organisations around the world will spend an intense three days discussing and reacting to over 170 presentations from 34 countries focused on applied Innovation, Science and Technology research. Participation in IST-Africa provided a wonderful opportunity to gain a better appreciation of the socio-economic, socio-cultural, technological and educational issues impacting on global technology adoption, particularly in resource-constrained environments.
IST-Africa 2018 Week was hosted by the Government of Botswana, through DTPS, Ministry of Transport and Communications and Technical Co-Sponsored by IEEE Society on Societal Implications of Technology, IEEE Region 8 and IEEE South Africa Section.
IST-Africa 2018 featured an invigorating mix of government and business case studies, technical and policy papers and interactive workshops.
The Opening Plenary (including a High-Level Roundtable) focused on sharing insight into research and innovation international cooperation opportunities between Europe and Africa under Horizon 2020 and the role of ICT, research and innovation in supporting entrepreneurship and socio-economic development in Africa. Panellists included: Mr Kabelo Ebineng, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport & Communication; Dr Kekgonne Baipoledi, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research Science and Technology; Paola Cervo, DG DEVCO, European Commission; Mr Tshoganetso Kepaletswe, Chief Technology Officer, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA); Alan Phemelo Boshwaen, Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Innovation Hub; Cathrin Stover, Chief Collaboration Officer, GEANT, Netherlands and Bonny Khunga, CEO, Zambia Research and Education Network / UbuntuNet Alliance.
IST-Africa 2018 was formally opened by His Excellency Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana and Hon. Minister Onkokame Kitso Mokaila, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Botswana. H.E the President highlighted the importance for Africa to identify locally developed solutions to address African problems. In this connection, policymakers need to institutionalise comprehensive and relevant Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (RSTI) policies that will enable other stakeholders to play their part. He highlighted that good research is one way to foster sustainable development and the importance of the knowledge sharing that IST-Africa facilitates.
The Scientific Programme incorporated over 170 presenters from public, private, education and research organisations in 34 countries in 37 thematically focused sessions. Themes addressed include International Cooperation, Innovation, eHealth, eGovernment, Technology-enhanced Learning, Cyber Security, eInfrastructure, Next Generation Computing, eAgriculture and Societal Implications of Technology.
As part of a full eHealth track, mHealth4Afrika had a workshop on Thursday 10 May. This workshop provided insights into the mHealth4Afrika objectives, comparative results from the validation of the first beta iteration and ongoing activities. This was complimented by a demonstration of the mHealth4Afrika beta platform, medical sensors being used at the point of care and Android application to capture the sensor readings and transfer using HL7 FHIR to the patient's electronic patient record.
This session was very well attended. The presentations and demonstrations raised a lot of positive interaction around the co-design approach, digital literacy training with the healthcare professionals and how the medical sensors were identified and selected.
The IST-Africa 2018 Proceedings is available on an open access basis to members of the IST-Africa community - simply register is you do not have an existing account. Please note that each author retains the copyright in relation to their individual paper. Therefore no paper or part thereof may be reproduced without the written permission of the appropriate author(s). IST-Africa Community Members can download and use the blind peer reviewed papers for personal use. IST-Africa papers should not be stored on electronic repositories without permission for the publisher.