Delegates of the 2014 Innovation Africa Summit. Photo Credit: The Brains Network
Delegates of the 2014 Innovation Africa Summit. Photo Credit: The Brains Network
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A selection of Uganda’s young and up-coming ICT entrepreneurs, as well as those who have been on the scene much longer will be represented at the Innovation Africa conference’s ICTAU exhibitor booth. Some of these exhibitors shared their hopes and expectations for the conference, as well as reflections on the state of the ICT industry in Uganda now, and more details about their companies.

Kisubi Associated Writers Agency
The Kisubi Associated Writers Agency was launched by Hon. Jessica Alupo, Minister of Education and Sports, along with teachers from St. Mary’s College Kisubi and a collection of university professors from Makerere University Business School, Uganda Technology and Management University and Mountains of the Moon University in 2012. It aims to integrate appropriate ICTs through in-service teacher training, the creation of Digital Educational Content and development of teaching materials, as well as use ICT for efficiency in administration at the secondary school level.

Moses Wamanga Wamboga who is the Executive Director of KAWA said “KAWA expects the Innovation Africa conference to be an eye opener to government and its agencies to spur more ideas on how the people on the grass roots especially poor primary schools and parents be supported to benefit from ICT in education programmes. We also expect new innovative ways of doing business in ICT industry, “ Wamanga said.

“We are looking for an opportunity to share what we have done with the participants and also to get partners who can provide a hardware platform on which our platform can run well and reach our clients on a personal basis and in affordable way,” Wamanga noted further.

Moses recognizes that it is a great opportunity to have the Innovation Africa Conference in Uganda and that it will address the skills gap and youth unemployment caused by learning what we cannot apply in daily life.

Makerere University Business School ICT Centre
The Makerere University Business School ICT Centre was launched in 2011 as an outreach unit focusing on ICT training and testing, Research and Consultancy. They provide a wide variety of ICT certifications, diplomas and short courses, as well as a space and mentorship for ICT business incubation. There are a number of emerging ICT projects in Uganda and the world at large. The success of these projects depends highly on the project managers and their teams. Unfortunately, most of the people assigned project management roles in Uganda and most developing countries are not certified project management professionals. This is the main reason for most project failures. Makerere University Business School ICT Centre certifies Project Management Professionals (PMP®) and conducts PMP® boot camps that both equip participants with world-class project management professional skills and prepare them for exams.

Mabel Kemigisha from the MUBS ICT Centre said “I expect the conference to expose new technologies relevant to the society. I also expect it to be a channel for networking with different players in the ICT world. I am most looking forward to getting more exposure to new technologies, sharing ideas and meeting potential clients and partners. MUBS ICT Centre will be presenting the centre’s programs including some applications developed.”
“I think that the ICT industry in Uganda is growing really fast. There is an increasing number of individuals, especially the youth, that are interested in ICT applications development. Some applications developed by these youths are already in use and some of them are freely available for download. One such application is the “dharura”, an android medical emergency app developed by a team of students from MUBS,” Ms Kemigisha went on to say.

e-Learner Uganda
e-Learner Uganda provides e-learning services to the education sector and to commercial organisations. Registered in April 2012, the company provides a formal, structured ICT training programme to the education sector and helps ensure that school leavers are better prepared for the modern work environment. We have recently agreed a partnership with the National Curriculum Development Centre to provide mathematics at primary four level in e-learning format to selected schools across Uganda.

Mike Watkins, CEO of e-Learner Uganda said “At the Innovation Africa conference, e-Learner Uganda expects to extend our network of influential officials who can motivate an e-learning agenda that embraces ICT in Ugandan schools. The ICT industry here in Uganda is progressing, but progress could be much faster if ICT is properly taught in schools so that the youth can embrace innovations through technology and be more work and university-ready when leaving school.”

“We are planning to demonstrate our integrated ICT training solution (known as e-Learner) by primary school children from schools that have deployed our solution. This means that the pupils themselves will be showing the software to the delegates. We are most looking forward to an opportunity to network and liaise with delegates and fellow exhibitors,” Mr Watkins said.

ICT Association of Uganda
The ICT Association of Uganda is a multi-stakeholder initiative formed by private individuals from Uganda, with the vision of providing professional guidance to individuals and organizations in the private sector, as well as offering advisory services to government on policy-based issues.

Simon Kaheru who is the Chairman of the ICTAU said “It is good to see indigenous Ugandan participants side by side with globally recognized brands and displaying the actualization of our potential here. These companies and projects are an inspiration to the rest of us and also show the world that solutions to education can be created within developing countries using technology.”

African Brains
The Brains Network was founded under the name of AfricanBrains in 2009 by managers who have been working in Africa and the Middle East for over 18 years. Since then, it has evolved and expanded the “Brains” brand onto ArabBrains, ChineseBrains & AustralianBrains.

In addition, The Brains Network organizes high-level summits bringing together government, business and civil society. This underlines the organization’s overall aspiration to fulfill the need and opportunity for greater public private partnership in education, science and research across Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

African Brains is the lead organizer of the Innovation Africa Conference.

The CEO, John Glassey said “This is exactly what Innovation Africa is about – showcasing the local solution that can be found to social issues such as the improvement of education. We are happy to create these opportunities and provide a platform for such great innovations to launch themselves onto the rest of the world.”

The Innovation Africa conference will be held from September 30 – October 2 at Munyonyo Resort. Accredited media are welcome to explore exhibitor booths to view the full offering of talent and innovation from Uganda and the rest of Africa.

For more information please visit www.innovation-africa.com/2015.