Opening Speech by Prof. Henry Kiptiony Kiplangat during the Conference on Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Prof Ciira Maina, Keynote Speaker

Guest Speakers:

  • Dr Dina Machuve; and
  • Dr John Oredo

Members of the University Management Board;

Dr. Peter Rugiri, Dean School of Science, Engineering and Technology;

Dr. Moses Thiga, Director, Research, Innovation and Outreach;

Faculty members and students;

Conference participants;

Ladies and gentlemen

 

Good afternoon

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Inaugural Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Conference at Kabarak University. This conference is part of the Kabarak University 13th Annual International Research Conference.

The Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Conference we are hosting this week touches a very important area of practice and research. The theme: Development, Deployment and Adoption of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Solutions capture our intention to build capacity for data science and artificial intelligence in the University. In this regard, we have taken several concrete steps, including:

  1. Development of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in data science and artificial intelligence. These programs are currently under review by the Commission for University Education. We are looking forward to launching them this year.
  2. Hosting data science and artificial intelligence boot camps and hackathons. These short training events have focused on imparting hands on skills among our students and faculty in readiness for projects and research in data science and artificial intelligence.
  3. Establishment of the center for data science and artificial intelligence. This center, once in place, will offer a platform for the conduct of research and implementation projects in data science and artificial intelligence.
  4. Supporting faculty and students to attend capacity building events and conferences. Last year, the University supported 3 faculty members and 4 students to attend the Data Science Africa 2022 event in Arusha, Tanzania. This year, the University will be supporting Dr Moses M Thiga and Dr Pamela Kimeto to attend and facilitate a 1 day workshop on African Artificial Intelligence at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2023 conference in Washington DC, USA.
  5. Hosting this inaugural conference on data science and artificial intelligence. This conference will provide, on an annual basis, a platform for the dissemination of research outputs in data science and artificial intelligence. I am pleased to note that this inaugural event has attracted several submissions comprising of research papers and project presentations.

Ladies and gentlemen, the above initiatives underscore our commitment in supporting the growth of data science and artificial intelligence in the University.

Before I conclude my remarks, I would like to acknowledge the partners who have supported us in this journey. Those partners include:

Google – Through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities grants, Google has over the last two years supported the development of our data science and artificial intelligence programs, bootcamps and hackathons as well as this conference.

Artificial Intelligence Journal – Through its grants the AIJ has supported the University twice, in 2020 and now, to host conferences and workshops in the area of data science and artificial intelligence.

HealthIT – HealthIT is providing domain specific knowledge and support for data science and artificial intelligence hackathons in healthcare.

We are looking forward to working with additional partners such as Microsoft, Omdema, IBM, the International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence (under the auspices of UNESCO) and Data Science Africa.

I am also pleased to acknowledge the support we have received from our keynote speaker and guest speakers for this conference. I appreciate the keynote speaker, Prof Ciira Maina, Director, Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAIL), Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, and Chair of Data Science Africa.

 I also appreciate our guest speakers: Dr Dina Machuve – Co-Founder and CTO of DevData Analytics, Tanzania; and Dr John Oredo – Senior Lecturer Information Science, University of Nairobi.

Thank you for accepting to be a part of this conference.

Last but not least, I would like to appreciate all the scholars who have taken time to prepare submissions for this conference. We are honored that you chose this conference as the platform to disseminate your valuable research outcomes. Great care has been taken to ensure that you have a very rewarding experience during your presentation.

With those few remarks, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to declare this conference officially opened.

Thank you and God Bless you.

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