Positioning Kenya as a Regional Artificial Intelligence Hub

James Savali makes his presentation on sentiment lexicon-enhanced text representation model for social media sentiment analysis

Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology is spearheading initiatives to position Kenya as a frontrunner in artificial intelligence (AI) research.

Recognizing the immense potential of AI research in bolstering the country’s economy, the university has undertaken decisive measures to ensure research outputs make meaningful contributions to the country’s overall development goals.

In fostering this aspiration, JKUAT organized a National Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML) on May 19, 2023.

The workshop aimed at providing a platform for PhD students to showcase their ground breaking research in AI and ML .It drew participants from various entities such as United States International University Africa, Dedan Kimathi University and Microsoft among others,

L-R: Dr. Petronilla Muthoni,Dr. Lawrence Nderu and Prof. Waweru Mwangi during a panel discussion on AI

Speaking at the event, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi stated that JKUAT aims to cement Kenya’s reputation as a hub of AI expertise, driving innovation and advancing the nation’s technological landscape.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Research Production and Extensions Registrar, Dr. Patrick Mbindyo, the Vice Chancellor was optimistic about the future of AI and ML in the University.

“Through the Department of Computing, JKUAT takes special pride in its extensive group of accomplished PhD holders in the field of computing, surpassing any other institution in Kenya. This exceptional achievement serves as a testament to our commitment to academic excellence and research advancement,” said Prof. Ngumi.

Prof. Ngumi pledged to support initiatives such as mentorships and industry as well as research partnerships to enhance research and academic publications outputs.

JKUAT’s AI and ML researchers in a commemorative photo after making their presentations during the forum

The Chairman of Computing Department, Dr. Lawrence Nderu said, AI has made significant advancements to become increasingly integrated into numerous fields, revolutionizing the way we live, work, and learn making it hard to ignore its impact.

Dr. Nderu said, the workshop will provide a platform for researchers to share their experiences. The next step after the workshop, he added, will be product development of various research presented during the forum.

Also present during the forum was the Principal of the College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. George Thiong’o and faculty from his College.

The workshop, conducted in partnership with African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), comes hot on the heels of the Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Igor Sakhnov’s recent visit and seminar presentation at JKUAT on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its role in future jobs and human interaction.

Comments are closed.