“International Day of Photonics-2023” at ISBAT University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa
Dr. Mayur Kumar Chhipa
Chair – Organizing Committee
Head of Program – Electronics and Communication Engineering
Head of ODeL Program
On October 20th and 21st 2023, the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT), ISBAT University, Kampala in collaboration with IEEE ISBAT University Student Branch, IEEE Humanitarian Technology Board, IEEE Uganda Section and IEEE Photonics Society, organized IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Symposium 2023 to Celebrate “International Day of Photonics-2023”, with Theme “Bridging the digital divide, Connecting to Unconnected” and subtheme: Harnessing the power of the internet and assistive technologies to enhance government service delivery and accountability for people with Disabilities, took place at ISBAT University Main Campus aimed for ICT and Engineering, and Management Students, Young Professionals from ISBAT University and other Institutions, Universities, Industries and Government Organizations to get acquainted with the humanitarian technologies for societal development and to promotes the application of science, engineering, and technology in developing solutions for disadvantaged communities.
The IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board (HTB) inspires and empowers IEEE volunteers around the world carrying out and supporting impactful humanitarian technology activities at the local level. The IEEE HTB mission is to support impactful and ethically informed volunteer-led initiatives, programs and projects, and mutually beneficial partnerships, as well as to inform policy formulation that harnesses technology and innovation to address societal challenges (including disaster recovery) in a responsive, effective, and sustainable way.
The symposium included various activities, keynote presentations from Industry and Academia, Panel Discussions, a Capacity building Workshop, a Poster artwork competition, and an Online Quiz Competition through Mentimeter and Networking.
Eng. Lwanga Herbert, Chair, IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board (IEEE HTB), as Guest of Honor, discussed IEEE HTB and various funding opportunities and capacity-building workshops on the writing of innovative proposals during the call for proposals. He explained the major challenges involved in designing quality humanitarian projects. He also encouraged IEEE student branches to form IEEE SIGHT Groups. A panel discussion was made on the role, cost, and implementation of innovation for inclusion. Whose role is it and how do we promote local innovation for inclusion? Which gave insights about innovations for inclusion and how to promote local innovation. Mr. Sserunjogi Rogers Executive Director, of Music for Life Africa, Salama School of Blind, discussed how disabled kids can benefit from the available technology and the need for innovation for societal development. Mr. Rajesh Agrawal, Network Director Airtel Uganda discussed about 5G Internet facilities in Uganda and how this available internet technology will leverage the innovators to come up with new projects related to IoT and Artificial Intelligence to the end borders of the country.
The symposium also hosted various other speakers, where Mr. Joshua Mpairwe, President of The Internet Society Uganda Chapter and Co-Founder of Centric Solutions (U) Ltd, discussed the role and working of Internet Society, and how they contribute to promoting the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all urban and rural communities while working with different like–minded institutions Uganda. Mr. Robert Turyakira, Deputy ED, Environment Shield talked about SDG goals, that no one is left behind, ending poverty, urgently addressing climate change, and ending inequality. Mr. Twesigye Joel Peter Managing Director Tee & Tee Technology Solutions Uganda Limited, discussed recent developments and applications of internet technologies for surveillance through CCTV cameras. He emphasized that it is one of the greatest inventions of the modern age. Ms. Janati Nakimera, Vice Chair IEEE WIE Uganda Section and CEO-Co founder at Solar Net Metering Uganda Ltd, talked about the social impact of humanitarian action for societal development.
On Day 1, the symposium also hosted students from the multimedia department for the artwork Poster Competition on the theme: Climate Change and Vulnerable Communities. students presented 26 Posters and the best three were awarded with certificates and cash prizes. On Day 2, a Quiz Competition was organized through Mentimeter for all the participants, and the best 10 were awarded with IEEE HTB T-Shirts and Certificates.
The symposium was attended by in total of around 115 participants, participants were from IEEE Uganda Section and other IEEE Student Branches and Universities, Kyambogo University, Uganda Institute of Communications Technology (UICT)- Nakawa, International University Of East Africa, etc.
Since the humanitarian projects mostly deal with local needs, conducting such events in various localities makes it possible to concentrate on community-specific needs – feedback from the participants. An idea can change your life.