BUJUMBURA April 13th (ABP) – The University of Burundi (UB) hosted for the first time, on Saturday April 9, 2022, in the premises of the Faculty of Economy and Management Sciences, the competition for the presentation of projects of IT digital innovation drawn up by students from different universities of the country under the theme “Digital innovations for business resilience in the East African Community”.
The said event was organized in Burundi in collaboration with the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and StartHub Africa in partnership with Actis and GDG Bujumbura, a check by ABP revealed.
This East African Community (EAC) initiative, carried out under the “Digital skills for an innovative East African Industry” project, aims to support young innovators in the East African universities to develop digital innovations for business resilience.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation at the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, Dr Tatien Masharabu, said that his commission is committed to building innovation systems for sustainable socio-economic development in Burundi.
He also indicated that during the press conference on science, technology and innovation within the EAC held in October 2021 at the Club du lac Tanganyika Hotel by the national commission for science, technology and innovation in collaboration with IUCEA, digitalization and innovation have been identified as key driving forces for the growth of productive sectors at the regional level including agriculture, industry and services. To that end, he hoped that at the end of that process of selecting the best innovators at the regional level, Burundi will have candidates selected through their projects relating to digital innovations for business resilience in the sub-region.
Ten groups of young innovators from public and private universities presented their projects and were all certified. Among those projects presented, the judges were able to choose two profitable and quickly feasible projects, which meet the criteria of digital innovation. The two groups chosen are made up of students from the University of Burundi and were awarded 1000 dollars each. This is a group of Gérard Kakunze, a master’s student in computer engineering at UB, who told the press that his E-Health project will help the patients to have access to online health care. Another group is of Lionel Muhimpundu, a student at the institute of applied statistics, who presented a project which consists of helping taxpayers to receive their receipts from the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) without wasting their time. He invited other young people to try to use their skills to improve the living conditions of their communities.
The director of GIZ’s “Digital skills for an innovative East African Industry” project, Simon Hochstein, indicated that the two selected projects will continue the competition at the regional level in the future, in one of the member countries of the EAC, to win $10,000 once selected. Note that all those projects were presented in English.