Policy-makers, funders and decision-makers from across Kenya participated in a hybrid (online and in-person) awareness and networking event on emerging digital technologies (EDTs) for socio-economic development. Held at the Nairobi Safari Club on May 12, the one-day event sought to strengthen among the participants the understanding and potential uses of EDTs across various sectors in the country. A similar event, targeting researchers and innovators was held a week later on May 19.
Both events are part of a project led by the University of Nairobi with UbuntuNet Alliance and the University of Johannesburg as partners. The Alliance together with KENET ‘s role in the project is to provide technology and infrastructure support. The project entitled, “Ecosystem Strengthening as a Catalyst for International Collaborative Development of Emerging Digital Technologies (EDT) and X-Data Applications Tackling Socio-Economic Challenges in Kenya and South Africa.“ is funded by the RISA Fund and seeks to strengthen the EDT ecosystems in Kenya and South Africa.
The awareness and networking sessions were facilitated by Prof Patrick Ogao (KCA University, Nairobi), Cyrus Kamau (National Commission of Science, Technology and Innovation, Kenya), Prof Muthoni Masinde (Catholic University of Technology, South Africa) and Sibukele Gumbo (University of Johannesburg, South Africa). Similar sessions shall be held in Johannesburg, coordinated by the University of Johannesburg, on June 12 and 13. Those in South Africa interested in attending these sessions in-person or online can register here.
The events also provided an opportunity to grow the Kenya Emerging Digital Technologies Research Network from fifteen to thirty-one participants. The network runs on WhatsApp and provides a platform for discussion and networking; sharing of opportunities, information and research results; and for the promotion, development and use of EDTs in Kenya. Anyone wishing to join should send an email to email@example.com and provide your WhatsApp phone number.