An Electronic and Computer Engineering student at JKUAT has bagged the innovator of the year award in the 4th edition of the Nairobi Tech Week (NTW) 2019 held in Strathmore University, April 24-26, 2019.
Freshia Sackey, a 3rd year technology enthusiast trounced fellow top nominees to take home the coveted prize in Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest annual technology event for product makers.
Freshia said it was exciting, humbling and motivating to be honoured.
“Being the biggest tech event in the region, the award is one of the highest honours you can achieve in the tech world. Apart from being recognized amongst the best of the best innovators, it has given me the motivation and zeal to keep on innovating,” said Freshia.
Fascinated by Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, Freshia has written code that uses particle swarm optimization technique to identify suitable low cost generation mix ratio of solar PV and diesel as part of a project that modeled and optimized a power backup generator scheme for a cement factory.
She has developed android applications that were integrated with hardware. For instance the Walking buddy, a smart walking stick that is useful to the visually impaired. The stick alerts the users when they are approaching obstacles, and can predicts their distance from the obstacles, using vibrations and audio cues.
“The stick is integrated with Google Maps, enabling the user to navigate to a given location on their own, using an audio guide. It also comes with a button that a user can press to immediately contact a person (their emergency contact) in case of anything, and sends their precise location to the contact,” elucidates Freshia.
To prove her prowess in the technological innovation world, Freshia also won the first Techfugees Hackathon in Africa early this month and emerged winner in the 9th JKUAT Tech Expo in January 2019.
The Nairobi Tech Week 2019 event dubbed ‘Technology in Africa: The Past, The Present and The Future’ delved into the evolution of technology in Africa, the various solutions being applied in the African context and the exciting opportunities yet to be explored as the continent navigates the digital revolution.
Freshia acknowledged that the event gave her an opportunity to learn from her peers and experts alike in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, cloud platforms, Internet of Things (IoT), micro-services, technopreneurship, data science, and product development tools.