MMU set to join a consortium of AHUMAIN Project Implementing Institutions in East Africa

In bid to setup an applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) ecosystem in East-Africa by keeping the East-African universities and society up-to-speed with the main global trends of Data Science (DS)and Artificial Intelligence, Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) is in advanced stages of signing a cooperation agreement funded by Eramus+ programme of the European Union in Applied Human Machine Intelligence (AHUMAIN) to foster in-depth knowledge. 

The cooperation means MMU will be among consortium of members of Erasmus+ programme with the target of dissemination, implementation and development of the results of AHUMAIN. “The parties will join their efforts aiming at implementation, dissemination and developing of the results of AHUMAIN, particularly in the field of improvement of training high qualified specialists as well as in research activities,” reads in part of the cooperation agreement. 

The aim of the AHUMAIN project is to connect diverse specializations together in one consistent curriculum, tailored to the East-African situation and societal problems, to come to a hybrid engineer who has in-depth knowledge in all different aspects and can connect these parts together to a useful and commercially viable system. At the same time focus on real-life applications of AI, operational deployment, and business cases, to break away from the theory and give way to practical applications. 

The specific objectives of the cooperation (AHUMAIN project) include among others: Increasing the quality of education in applied AI and Data Science in East Africa by developing a specific curriculum in applied AI and DS; Delivering the specific hardware for deploying AI and DS applications; Training of teaching staff and students; Introducing new teaching methodologies; Increasing employability of students and supporting regional innovation and entrepreneurship; and Networking between East Africa and European institutions and companies 

Dr. Otto Francis, the MMU Director, Information Communication Technology (ICT), who represented the University Vice-Chancellor at MMU Main Hall yesterday appreciated the partnership. “This collaboration will be key to MMU as an Institution in developing an all-round staff and students” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Edwin Akugizibwe the Dean, Faculty of Science, Technology and Innovation (FoSTI), revealed that they plan to start up a course in Data Science and Artificial intelligence under this arrangement. 

Dr. Edwin added that they also have short and medium term plans they wish to undertake by initiating and implementing successful data science and AI driven projects like smart dust bin project for Fort Portal City, smart beehive for rural communities, efficient energy systems projects for local tea factories, smart data system connecting farmers and traders in the region. 

Moses Bukenya a lecturer under the same faculty asked the partners for strong infrastructure that can link the University and other students abroad in solving the challenge short trainings on e-learning lessons. The visiting delegation of the AHUMAIN project (Applied Human Machine Intelligence in East Africa) at MMU included Dirk Van Merode the Project Coordinator, Bruno Herman Artificial Intelligence specialist, Abid Were Projector Coordinator Africa, Jan Guldentops-Cloud Infrastructure and Cyber Security Specialist and Wim Casteels-AI Specialist. 

The meeting was also attended by Heads of Departments, Deans and staff.

Other partners under the AHUMAIN consortium include ARTESIS PLANTIJN, Hogeschool Antwerpen (Belgium); Ardhi University (Tanzania); Howest (Belgium); Innovent Financial Consult (Uganda); Karume Institute of Science and Technology (Zanzibar); Makerere University (Uganda); Muni University (Uganda); Neapolis University (Cyprus); The Research and Education Network for Uganda; Sahara-Consult Company Limited (Tanzania); and Universidad De Vigo (Spain)

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