Newly established Strathmore Africa Data Analytic Centre is among several joint projects recently undertaken with the academic institution.
Kenyan private university Strathmore has received support from pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom in the form of a new Strathmore Africa Data Analytic Centre which will be based at the East Africa Data Centre (EADC) in Nairobi.
The facility is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Econet Group of companies in support of the academic institution, and will be used to provide businesses with data analytics services.
Ben Roberts, Group Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Liquid Telecom said the provision of dedicated rackspace and colocation services at EADC, in addition to a direct fibre link between the Strathmore Business School campus and EADC, will be used to provide data analytics services such as data mining, predictive analysis and exploratory data analysis
“Businesses in Africa now have a lot of data about their customers and their buying behaviour. So far a lack of skills in data science has prevented businesses from using that data for strategic decision making. Through this partnership, Liquid Telecom and SBS will help provide companies with the tools and learning they need to achieve real improvements in performance, said Roberts.
The Strathmore Business School already works with a range of high-profile public and private organisations including Microsoft, IBM, Google, Deloitte, World Bank and the Kenyan government.
Rosemary Okello-Orlale, Director of Africa Media Hub at SBS hopes that the new Africa Data Analytics Centre will help to spread data driven development to the poorest and most remote communities.
“Through our partnership with Liquid Telecom and access to world-class facilities at EADC, students at SBS and Strathmore University will be able to harness the power of new technologies to solve some of the region’s oldest problems, demonstrating the power of partnership in the era of the data revolution,”
Strive Masiyiwa, Group Executive Chairman & Founder of Liquid Telecom’s parent company Econet Group attended the Pathways for Prosperity Commission Tech and Entrepreneurship Town Hall at Strathmore University earlier this month.
“It was great to see top business leaders, government officials, technology experts, academics and student all thinking about how new technologies can help rather than harm society. Today is how we build Africa’s future and end poverty globally. Together we listen, we innovate and we take action – with data and vision,” said Masiyiwa at the Town Hall – where Nigeria’s Ezinne Uko and Kenya’s Peter Wachira won the US$200,000 Kwesé Inc grand prize from a group of 12 finalists from DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The role of academic institutions in helping to develop Africa’s tech ecosystem is remains a topic of discussion.
Mariana Kruger, General Manager: Products and Services at MTN Business expressed her view that academic institutions can play a central role in technological development in her company’s call earlier this week for the creation of ‘Gauteng Silicon Valley’ in South Africa’s economic hub.
“Gauteng is the financial capital of South Africa. We need to unlock resources in the province by creating an enabling environment that entices venture capitalists to invest in the ecosystem. This requires us to deepen collaboration between universities, the private and public sector. Universities are centres of knowledge that are renowned for nurturing innovation. We need to tap into this and unlock the potential they present,” said Kruger.