Earlier this week on 16th March 2015, amidst exam fever at school, the CS for Information, Communication and Technology Dr Fred Matiang’i provided a much needed distraction by gracing Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT) for the launch of the school’s ICT Strategic Plan and the DeHUB, an incubation and innovation open space for developers and (ab)users of technology.
The University has had quite a reputation for being at the fore front of technology in the region. This is following a number of hackathons it has hosted, the last being the Nyeri Civic Hack which was organized by the county government of Nyeri in collaboration with the university.
With the launch of the ICT Strategic Plan, the school will ensure that its ICT infrastructure is modernized, robust and fit for the purpose of providing quality education to both staff and students. The overall aim of the ICT Strategic Plan is to enable the university fraternity to offer their users the best and most cost effective services and resources to provide the best possible environment and support academic life within the university. The university is already equipped with fiber cable for heavenly internet speeds.
KENET Executive Director Meoli Kashorda noted that the school’s data consumption was very impressive and necessitated the building of a communications tower within the university which the CS commissioned on the same day. The tower will serve both DeKUT and Karatina University. The CS later planted a tree to mark the ground breaking. After a tour of the university’s Advanced Design and Manufacturing Training Center (ADMATC) the CS said and I quote “It is disturbing that I wasn’t aware of this University’s capacity.”
The Engineering students here learn in the most modern environment with advanced equipment that was bought with help of the government. Hon Mutahi Kagwe also recognized the university’s potential to cut a niche for itself as being able to train highly qualified data and communication technicians at undergraduate level.
During his speech, the CS pledged that the next tech event would be held at the university. During the launch the students show cased a bunch of projects they had been working on and a couple did catch the attention of the guests. One was ‘Softballot’ an electronic voting system that would be piloted during the university’s students election and the other was ‘Bizpal’ that aims at increasing revenue collection at the county level. Bloggers Association of Kimathi (BAKE DEKUT) had a chance to talk with the students in a bid to follow up with their innovations and get the wordout. The DeHUB will provide an open space students to develop their projects and tech startups through fast internet and technical support by providing a link to the likes of ihub,mlab and nailab which are based in Nairobi.