AHEAD Final Conferences in Kenya and Uganda
Final project conference in Nairobi, Kenya
The final project conference in Nairobi was hosted by Kenyatta University on September 23rd, 2021. It was called “University-Industry Conference” or “Investors Conference”. It served several purposes:
- It was the last phase of the student innovation competition carried out by the AHEAD innovation hub at KU. The innovation ideas were collected from January 2021 to August 2021, and the best ten were pitched at this conference to potential investors, who would support further development and commercialization of these innovations.
- It was used as a forum for dissemination of the final project results, incl. the open educational resources, the virtual knowledge gateway (VKG) and the innovation hub. The participants in the conference were invited to engage with the VKG and use the hub for joint development of innovation projects. Cooperation among representatives of HEIs, businesses and community was the focal message of the conference debate.
Picture: Final project conference in Nairobi: group photo of panalists
The conference was carried out in a blended mode. It combined face-to-face and online participation. The key note speakers in the panel session (incl. representatives of Kenya National Innovation Agency and business), the students who pitched their ideas, as well as the staff members of the innovation and incubation center (about 30 people) were physically present at the event. Their presentations and speeches were broadcasted online to more than 150 registered participants.
The conference presented an opportunity to solicit support of key stakeholders at national level for further (post-project) activities in the field of research and innovation and for further enhancement of the knowledge triangle practices.
Final project conference in Bungoma, Kenya
AHEAD final conference was held within Kibabii University’s 5th International Conference (Virtual) on 15th – 16th June 2021. KIBU held its 5th International Conference under the theme: Mitigating the Post COVID-19 Impact on the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals. This occurred at time the country and indeed the whole world was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, it was a first of its kind to be held virtually. At least 30 institutions from across the globe took part in the event and 103 papers were presented. The total number of participants in the conference was 116.
Picture: Final project conference in Bungoma: screenshot of student’s innovation
AHEAD project was listed a key sponsor under the Gold Category and had a slot on the 2nd day of the conference. The project team gave a brief about the project, its activities and achievements. The project team shared with participants (online) the project leaflet and the open educational resources. The top three innovation ideas developed by KIBU students for the AHEAD Students’ Innovation Competition were also showcased during the conference. The messages about the conference where AHEAD project was conspicuously displayed were shared on KIBU staff mail sub-domain and other platforms.
Final project conference in Lira, Uganda
AHEAD final conference in Uganda was initially planned to be carried out by Kyambogo University. However, it was decided to move the conference to Lira, in order to ensure wider participation of a more diverse groups of stakeholders from regions, other than Kampala (the capital). Lira team cooperated with Kyambogo and Makerere, and three universities together managed to conduct a great event of significant impact.
Picture: Final project conference in Lira: picture taken after the event (the participant wearing AHEAD t-shirt)
The event was called “The 1st National Innovation Conference”. It was conducted in a blended mode on the 3rd of September 2021. The project team and key researchers at Lira University participated physically in the event (15 people). The other participants were present online – 117 registered guests. The conference was attended by the Uganda Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, who gave her endorsement to the project results and ensured support of the Ministry to further efforts of the universities to promote research and innovation in favour of the local communities.