IEEE Activities at Transform Africa Summit 2019

IEEE delegation attended the Transform Africa Summit (TAS2019) that took place from 14th to 17th May 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of the Summit was “Boosting Africa’s Digital Economy”. His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda declared the Summit open. In his speech, he asserted that Africa has all the required resources needed for digital transformation for economic growth. Notable government dignitaries that graced the occasion include: President of the Republic of Kenya- Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Mali- Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid- the Commissioner for Infrastructure & Energy, African Union, Hon. Paula Ingabire– the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful– the Minister of ICT and Innovations, Ghana and Lacina Koné – the Director General, Smart Africa Summit, were among other dignitaries that attended the event.  Amongst the over 4,000 participants, were numerous government ministers, key industry players in ICT, delegations from World Bank, ITU, Industry Leaders, Entrepreneurs and Academia.

IEEE sponsored the Smart Africa Steering Committee Luncheon which was attended by very important personalities and stakeholders at the beginning of the Summit on Monday, 13th May, 2019. Vincent Kaabunga presented on behalf of IEEE President, in his speech, he highlighted IEEE activities and, particularly the partnerships with NEPAD and Smart Africa in workforce development, standards and public policy.

The IEEE Africa Council team was led by its Pro tem Chair; Prof. Gloria Chukwudebe (Nigeria), Dr. Habib Kammoun (Tunisia), Vincent Kaabunga (Uganda), Kamau Ngunyi (Kenya). The other IEEE volunteers at the event were Cyiza Augustin (Rwanda), Ukurikiyeyesu Dieudonne (Rwanda), Mercy Chelangat (Kenya, IEEE Smart Village) and Joy Musiimenta (Uganda, IEEE Smart Village). The IEEE exhibition booth attracted a lot of visitors and potential members.

Miss Geek Competition

One of the hallmarks of the event was co-sponsorship of the 6th edition of Miss Geek Africa 2019 competition by IEEE. The Miss Geek is a regional competition organized by Girls in ICT Rwanda to inspire girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help meet the continent’s challenges by using technology. For this edition, the competitors were from Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Mauritania, Senegal, Kenya, Mali, and Rwanda. The girls showcased the ICT application ideas  on boosting Africa’s digital economy after an intensive one-week training program that allowed them to develop critical thinking, speaking and presentation skills, as part of the preparations for day of the competition.

Consequently, the finalists were selected by a high-level panel chaired by Prof. Gloria Chukwudebe. In addition to getting certificates from IEEE, the winners also got cash prizes and laptops from the other sponsors. In her speech during the closing ceremony of the Miss Geek competition, Gloria announced IEEE’s approval of:

  • One year IEEE and IEEE Women in Engineering memberships for the ten finalists.
  • One year IEEE Society memberships of the technical society in the field of interest of the top three Ms. Geek Winners.
  • Sponsorship of Miss Geek Winner to attend a signature IEEE Conference in her area of study/interest in any part of the world.

In her closing remarks, Prof Gloria commended the Transform Africa Summit and Miss Geek competition organizers. Also, she affirmed that IEEE is committed to being a part of this digital transformation by providing educational support and requisite resources for the technical development of the engineering profession throughout Africa.

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