Juanita Frans, Manager Business Systems and Processes in the Department of Information and Communications Technology and Dr Suama Hamunyela, Acting Head in the Department of Informatics said the training was offered by internationally recognised professors, among them Prof Yaoxin, the Director of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at SUSTech. “After every topic, we were exposed to a practical experience at either a private or a government institution, such as the Shenzhen Police Station, and IT giants Huawei and HIKVISION,” said an excited Frans.
The overall aim of the seminars was to enhance capacity-building for government officials and University leaders in using ICT for educational purposes.
According to Dr Hamunyela, participants were exposed to specialised lectures in various cities such as Shenzhen, Beijing and Hangzhou. “We were introduced to China’s achievements in ICT implementation in higher education reform, and were presented with the latest developments of ICT in Chinese Universities,” she explained.
Adding that their exposure to local IT giants and other ICT-enabled higher education institutions gave them first-hand experience in the use and power of ‘Big Data and Cloud Computing.’
Elaborating further on the Big Data and Cloud Computing, Frans said: “This is definitely the language in China as they use Big Data to streamline and integrate data between government and business entities by using features like the ID numbers and visuals.”
The two NUST representatives were impressed by the fact that the usage of Big Data and Cloud Computing enable the capture of integrated citizens’ data in great detail. They added that it is useful for the custodians of citizens’ data, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to enable the cautious sharing of information with other entities and allow a seamless flow of accurate data about citizens. “This way communication, health and social issues can be addressed before situations can deteriorate. The police also need Big Data and visual equipment to solve or prevent crime,” Frans concluded. Participants came from 12 African countries including Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Egypt, Djibouti, Uganda, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and Namibia.