Researchers Take on Illiteracy Eradication at the IDIA 2014 Conference

Mr Phumzile Nomnga, a first year Master of Science in Computer Science student attended the 8th International Development Informatics Association (IDIA) Conference held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on the 3rd to 4th of November 2014. Mr Nomnga presented a paper on “Evolution of ICT4D for Illiteracy Eradication and Knowledge Dissemination for Rural Community Development” at the conference under the theme “ICTs for Inclusive Communities in Developing Societies”. Mr Nomnga attended the conference and represented His co-authors, Mr Shadreck Mudziwepasi, Mr Mphenduli Ntsizi and Mr Mfundo Shakes Scott. In addition to the presentation he participated in a dialog/debate and attended a workshop on “The Comprehensive Nature of Evaluation in ICT4D Research and Practice”. Also present at the event was Professor Alfredo Terzoli who presented the paper entitled "ICT Skills Training in Marginalised Communities: A Gendered Journey with Lessons or Not?"

This conference served as a great platform for networking with fellow researchers in the field of ICT4D through a dialog/debate session which encouraged researcher’s engagement on the role of ICTs for the development of rural communities”, said Mr Nomnga

Article by Pride Nyambi

Research Paper Presentations at the 6th ICAST Conference

Miss Pride Nyambi, Mr Munyaradzi Kapfudza and Mr Shadreck Mudziwepasi made the list of delegates for the 2014 IEEE 6th International Conference on Adaptive Science & Technology (ICAST ) conference which was hosted by Covenant University in Ota, Nigeria. The three delegates presented papers on "Persona Mapping for Usability of ICTD Services", "GA optimization of Hybrid Energy Systems for telecommunications in marginalized rural areas", and “Assessment of a Wireless Sensor Network Based Monitoring Tool for Zero Effort Technologies: A Cattle-Health and Movement Monitoring Test Case” respectively.

Nyambi emphasized that "Despite the fact that the presentations were conducted virtually through Skype, the setting still enabled engagement with the delegates physically at the conference". The three researchers were in line with the topics of discussion and debate for the conference on satellite communications, Smart Utility Systems, Long Term Evolution networks, mobile technologies and m-health.

Article by Pride Nyambi

Eastern Cape Developer Group takes part in Ruby workshops

(article extracted from the IKamva National eSkills Institute newsletter, Edition 32, November 2014)

Creating much-needed higher level e-skills for global competitiveness and wealth equity

The Makana Apps Factory (MAF) Eastern Cape Developer Group took part in a series of workshops run by the ICT4G group which is a part of the Italian NGO, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, in collaboration with Rhodes University and Fort Hare University. The ICT4G group uses technology to foster economic and social development. These workshops were hosted by a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme.

The four Ruby on Rails Developers Workshops were held in East London, Port Elizabeth and Alice during November 2014. The course focus was on the programming language, Ruby. Ruby helps build web applications very quickly and is used frequently internationally but not within South Africa.

Part of the staff exchange fellowship involved members of Fondazione Bruno Kessler coming to South Africa and Sibukele Gumbo from MAF and Siyakhula Living Lab going to Italy. The MAF is the associated app factory for the Eastern Cape e-Skills CoLab: ICT for Rural Development. It is a collaboration between the Eastern Cape e-Skills CoLab and Rhodes University.