The First International Conference could not deny one of the newest topics around the globe digital transformation. Therefore, this first edition held in the busiest City of Dar es Salaam, focused on the concept of Digital Transformation in education and research. This subject was not just exploited during the two-day conference, but also over the course of co-located events that preceded the conference.
ICT staff from member institutions gathered for a mixture of lectures and hands on activities that will equip them with technical skills and knowledge necessary to improve administration and management of their campus network and services. The workshop trainings were covered in two track sessions namely Campus Network Design and operations (CNDO) and Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC). Track 1 workshop covered concepts based on campus network design and operations such as overview of education and research networks ecosystem, design principles, campus network cabling best practices, cabling installation hints, building an address plan etc.
Next to that, Track 2 workshop covered concepts based on domain name system and security such as Linux, DNS concepts, DNS Security, DNSSEC etc. The skills learned during these trainings will enable ICT experts to utilize materials and improve the performance of the campus networks of institutions or universities connected to them. ICT experts from TERNET, NSRC and RENU shared their knowledge and provided hands on expertise to participants for better practices towards digital transformation via higher learning and research institutions
An important meeting towards the conference theme was the ICT Director’s Forum, where ICT Directors from member universities and colleges across the country gathered to discuss and brainstorm digital successes and challenges in today’s education and research environment. The Forum also covered topics ranging from challenges of emerging digital transformation, learning and teaching innovation in their respective universities
On Thursday 16th of September, the First International Conference on Digital Transformation kicked off with the presence of Deputy Permanent Secretary from Ministry for Communications and information Technology Hon. Dr. Jim Yonazi who officially opened the conference.
“We are aware that despite the progress the world is making towards Digital Transformation, Tanzania is lagging behind in terms of ICT expertise and leading professionals with good virtues to manage the sector therefore hindering its development. Since there is rapid growth in the ICT sector, a reliable management system is required to utilize and develop ICT expertise in the country. The government is aware of the challenge of ICT expertise knowledge not matching the pace of demand of the ICT market therefore has decided to accelerate implementation of the 2016 ICT policy guidelines that will identify ICT experts in the country. We are happy to say that the initial steps of compiling national database of ICT experts is on progress as we look forward at the possibility of having a law that recognizes ICT experts in the country.
This will enable the Government to understand the real level of expertise in the country, set up a system to manage the norms and values of experts, and create an environment for the existence of special skills development programs to match the labor market in ICT in the country and the world. To be successful, we need the cooperation of all stakeholders in the industry. The government recognizes the contribution of universities and other higher learning institutions as manufacturers of human resources. This human resource in ICT contributes to the creation of our country's economy by mid-2025 which will be in fact be driven by greater use of ICT resources. The government is committed to support local entities like TERNET that build a platform such as this conference that enables academicians, researchers and industry experts to gather, discuss and come up with effective strategies to make Tanzania benefit from global industrial revolution that relies heavily on ICT development” he said.
With these powerful and promising words from the government, the conference progressed with energized vibe, sustained by the paper presenters and panelists who shared their knowledge, research findings, addressed challenges and most importantly, provided solutions and recommendations. These research findings, novel ideas, success stories and learned solutions will enable not only Tanzania, but also the entire region to map out challenges and collectively decide on the best future directions in terms of innovation, education and research
On the second and final day of the conference, paper presentations progressed covering topics on technical solutions and tools for digital transformation i.e. IoT based mining tracking system using cloud computing power technologies education technologies and e learning, TV white space as an alternative to connect the unconnected education institution in rural areas. Research experts also presented findings towards education technology and e learning i.e. digital skills and self-employment among higher education graduates, information flow challenges facing teachers’ management department etc. There were also interesting panel discussions on how women and girls can be well represented among top performers in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics via the women and Girls in ICT and Research hosted by UbuntuNet Alliance. Economists and industry experts also gathered to discuss on how policy regulators can build a better regulatory framework towards the digital economy