JKUAT IT Department Strengthens Industry-Academia Linkages

Prof. Odhiambo presents the Transformation Planning trophy to Ms. Katumbi of Swara Solutions. Looking on is Dr. Kimwele

Prof. Odhiambo presents the Transformation Planning trophy to Ms. Katumbi of Swara Solutions. Looking on is Dr. Kimwele

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture through her Department of Information Technology partnered with Pearl Touch International (PTI) Consulting and Archangel Interactive in a bid to encourage Industry-Academic linkages.

For the past four years, the partnership has been tackling Enterprise Transformation through Enterprise Architecture. This has helped the students to understand how best to position themselves in the market place armed with technical and soft skills.

In a bid to develop young talent and give them practical marketplace experience, JKUAT in collaboration with PTI Consulting and Archangel Interactive launched the Junior Architecture Excellence Challenge. The challenge attracted 20 teams drawn from various IT programmes in the University culminating into 137 students.

The challenge, divided into four categories namely; Transformation Planning, Integration Architecture, Architecture for Public Sector and Cloud Architecture posed architecture questions to the participants and subjected them to a thought process that produced an array of solutions.

Students keenly following proceedings during the award ceremony

Students keenly following proceedings during the award ceremony

Speaking during the award ceremony, the Co-founder of PTI Consulting, Mr. Peter Muya said Industry-Academia linkages can help bolster economic growth in the country. He encouraged industrialists to take advantage of the academia especially the research and skills output to provide practical solutions to a rapidly changing enterprise context.

While appreciating the industry partners, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in-charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, said the program was designed as an alternative training tool from traditional classroom style to promote the University’s commitment in research, training and innovation for development.

“The integration of industry experience in our classwork will strengthen the value in knowledge and skill uptake of students, hence preparing them for the ever dynamic ICT industry,” attested Prof. Odhiambo.

The DVC also challenged the students to seize the opportunities accorded to them to stimulate their knowledge and come up with solutions that will make a difference in the community, improving people’s livelihoods.

“To the industry, JKUAT has a wide pool of talented and innovative students ready to be exploited and utilised,” said Prof. Odhiambo.

Ms. Mugambi makes her remarks during the ceremony

Ms. Mugambi makes her remarks during the ceremony

The brains behind the initiative, Ms. Grace Mugambi, Lecturer, Department of Information Technology said it was encouraging to see students articulate themselves confidently as they presented their solutions.

“The question from students throughout this process has been “how do I become a world class professional in the marketplace?”, and I’m glad to reveal that these discussions have played a vital role in positioning the students to become competent professionals,” said Ms. Mugambi

Out of the 10 groups in the Transformation Planning category, Swara Solutions emerged the winners with their Magari ERP Implementation Project. In the Integration Architecture category, Team Lisa with their Bima Group Consolidated Project toppled the other two groups in the category. The Architecture for Public Sector category saw Team Jawabu emerge winners with their Curriculum Development Agency Content Management System. Of the three groups that took part in the Cloud Architecture category, Angani SWAT team emerged winners with their Wekeza Cloud Roadmap.

Members of the winning team take a photo with Prof. Odhiambo, Fuculty members and CEOs of the industry partners

Members of the winning team take a photo with Prof. Odhiambo, Faculty members and CEOs of the industry partners

Carolyne Katumbi, a 3rd year Bachelor of Science student in IT the team manager of Swara Solutions, thanked all parties responsible in making the challenge possible and guaranteed them that it had enabled her and her team put into practice the skills and knowledge learnt in class.

The award ceremony was also addressed by CEO and Design Director of The Archangel Interactive, Mr. Micheal Mwaura, Ag. Director, School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT), Dr. Micheal Kimwele, and Deputy Director, SCIT, Ms. Rose Mwangi.

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