31 May 2019
IST-Africa 2019 Conference was hosted by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi, Kenya from 08 - 10 May 2018. Organised each year since 2006, IST-Africa Week is an annual international forum that showcases Sustainable Development and Research, Innovation and ICT4D activities and capacity in Africa (with a particular focus on the host country) and Europe. It facilitates policy makers, technologists, scientists and engineers, researchers, practitioners and community leadership to meet face to face to share experiences, knowledge and build new relationships to support cross-border research cooperation.
IST-Africa 2019 was supported by the Government of Kenya, European Commission, African Union Commission, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, IEEE Region 8, IEEE Kenya Section and IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee.
IST-Africa 2019 attracted delegates from 34 countries representing policy makers, practitioners, and researchers from leading commercial, government and research organisations around the world.
The conference program brought together a mix of keynote presentations, high level roundtables and panels, technical and policy papers, case studies and workshops.
Plenary Speakers and Roundtable panellists included:
- Prof. George Magoha CBS, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education
- Prof. Collette A. Suda, PhD, FKNAS, CBS, Chief Administrative Secretary and Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research, Ministry of Education
- Walter Tretton, Head of Infrastructure Section, First Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kenya
- Dr. Jemimah Onsare, Ag. CEO. National Research Fund, Kenya
- Dr Gilbert Mugeni, Ag. Assistant Director, Innovation and Research Development, Communications Authority of Kenya
- Dr Katherine Getao, CEO, ICT Authority of Kenya
- Dr. Moses Rugutt, Director General, National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI)
- Prof. Meoli Kashorda, Executive Director, Kenya Education Network (KENET)
- Megan Bettilyon, Director, Renewable Energy and Special Projects, Global Good
- Dr. Salome Guchu, Ag. CEO, Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA)
- Dr Charity Wayua, Senior Manager, IBM Research Africa
- Dr. Maxwell Otim Onapa, Director Science, Research and Innovation, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda
- Boniface Akuku, Director, Information and Communication Technology, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
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.
The Scientific Programme over 135 presenters from public, private, education and research organisations in 31 countries in 34 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, the mHealth4Afrika workshop on 09 May provided insights into the experience cooperating with healthcare professionals in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa. mHealth4Afrika has co-designed and validated a standards-based, comprehensive patient-centric health platform for use in resource constrained environments. Paul Cunningham provided insight into the context, user-centered design and Collaborative Open Innovation based approach working in partnership with Ministries of Health, District Health Offices, Clinics Managers and healthcare professionals in healthcare facilities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa to inform required functionality, workflow and usability requirements. Miriam Cunningham demonstrated the mHealth4Afrika platform. Chipo Kanjo provided insights into the experience working with healthcare professionals in a range of facility types in Southern Malawi. Strathmore provided insights in the experience and lessons learnt in Western Kenya. 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 system functionality.
The Closing Plenary focused on Strategic and Multi-stakeholder Partnerships. Dr Katherine Getao, CEO, ICT Authority of Kenya provided insights into the different types of partnerships required depending on the context - such as implementing a project, evaluating the success of a project, creating sustainability, research partnerships etc. She highlighted the importance of having common objectives, mutual benefit and mutual respect. Megan Bettilyon, Director, Renewable Energy and Special Projects, Global Good, US provided insight into the type of work that Global Good is doing in the health and agriculture areas and the type of partnerships required. Dr. Salome Guchu, Ag.CEO, Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA) provided insight into the importance to build capacity leveraging appropriate partnerships. Dr Charity Wayua, Senior Manager, IBM Research Africa provided some examples of how IBM supports university programs and capacity building - such as the IBM Digital Nation Africa. A common thread was the need for mutual benefit and respect in partnerships.
The IST-Africa 2019 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.