Kibabii University on Tuesday 14th June, 2022 launched a Multimillion Information Communication and Technology Hub worth KES 64.6M. The project is a result of a rigorous Infrastructure Research Grant call by the National Research Fund (NRF) in 2016. The call, which sort to support various research and infrastructural projects was open to all universities, tertiary institutions and research centres. A team from Kibabii University led by The Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Franklin Wabwoba – a renowned scholar, and the only full Professor of Information Technology in Kenya, made an application to establish “Kibabii University Information Communication and Technology Hub (KICTH)” that finally won the grant.
The team, all from the School of Computing and Informatics included Prof. Samuel Mbuguah, Dr. Betty Mayeku, Ms. Dorcus Arshley Shisoka, Mr. Humphrey Juma Kilwake, Dr. Patrick Owoche, Dr. Samwel Barasa, Dr. Yonah Etene and Mr. Daniel Khaoya Muyobo.
The ICT Hub has a postmodern state of the art Data Centre, a Mobile Computing Laboratory, Video conferencing Centre, e-learning Laboratory, a Professional Certification Centre and a Digital Forensics Laboratory all furnished with the top-notch equipment in their respective areas of specialization. As a result of this, the University has commenced a postgraduate programme in Digital Forensics. The project has also complemented the University in running academic programmes especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Wabwoba affirmed that aside from the HUB being used for training, the facility, especially the Data Centre and digital forensics equipment will be available for hire by Kenyans for digital forensics works.
Representing the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research, the CEO National Research Fund Dr. Jemimah G. Onsare expressed satisfaction at the way the researchers and the University had utilized the allocated funds and their timely completion of the project.
She congratulated the University for being selected as a Centre of Excellency in ICT and Engineering and Centre of Excellency of Business in the Lake Region Economic Bloc, challenging the University to go a notch higher in capacity building in order to be part of the 5th Industrial Revolution.
“This facility should be expanded to enrich the citizens of Kenya. This can be achieved by exploring more collaborations with public institutions like the Directorate of Criminal Investigations which has recently launched a similar project,” she said.
She further encouraged researchers to pursue more opportunities in research and build an academic discourse to be able to compete with world-class universities.
In his remarks, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Planning, Partnerships, Research and Innovation Prof. Dr.-Ing. Benedict M. Mutua, lauded the team of scholars who won the grant for their dedication to serve humanity. He emphasized on the role that the equipment would play in research and training of the workforce towards development of the country’s economic growth and in combating the rising cases of cybercrime.
The event was attended by Bungoma County Education Executive Dr Betty Mayeku. Also present was the Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Student affairs) Prof Stanley Mutsotso who represented the Vice Chancellor.