News

Siyakhula Living Lab attends South Africa / Tanzania ICT Research Partnership Project workshop

On the 11th of March 2014, Siyakhula Living Lab's Sibukele Gumbo joined other established and emerging South African and Tanzanian Living Labs, and other ICT bodies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for a one day workshop entitled, “Living Lab workshop for co-creation and innovation between South Africa and Tanzania”. The event was jointly organised by Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Living Labs in Southern Africa (LLISA) and CSIR Meraka (supported by the NRF).

The 44 attendees featured delegates from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University LL, North West University LL, WIN LL and Reconstructed Labs in South Africa and the Ministry of Community, Science and Technology, TANZAICT, RLabs Iringa, Arusha Ecolab, Mbeya, Kegamboni Community Centre (KCC), Tanzania Youth Icon (TYI) and Sengerema Living Lab based in Tanzania.

The goals and outcomes of this workshop included awareness creation, exchange and sharing of knowledge and information borne through experiences in our centres. The attendees also had the opportunity to conduct group discussions on the advantages of Living Lab involvement to stakeholders, namely government, academia, industry and developmental bodies.

A Natural Instinct for Community Engagement

Compliments of the New Season! May 2014 keep you healthy and happy, kind and generous, and also, offer you success and happiness ;-)

To kickstart the year, we would like to share an article published last year here ;-) This article is by Sarah-Jane Bradfield, and featured in page 8 and page 9 of the Rhodes University Community Newsletter in September 2013. It highlights the contributions of myself, Sibukele Gumbo, Dr Mosioua Tsietsi and Prof Alfredo Terzoli in the Siyakhula Living Lab and Reed House Systems. The full Rhodos Newsletter is available here as well.

Enjoy!

2013 Annual ICT Summit in East London

The 2013 Eastern Cape ICT summit was hosted from the 5th -7th November, at the East London International Conference Centre. Mobile Applications was the theme and focus this year. The event was graced by dignitaries such as the Eastern Cape MEC – Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mr. Mlibo Qoboshiyane, SITA’s Freedom Nomvalo and Mr. Andile Ngcaba from Dimension Data, amongst others. Prof Alfredo Terzoli, one of the 23 speakers, and accompanied to the event by Prof Mamello Thinyane, Ms Nyalleng Moorosi, Ms Mathe Maema and Ms Sibukele Gumbo.

Prof Terzoli presented a seminar entitled ‘E Gov. Services as a way to sustain ICT infrastructure in poor areas’. You may view his session on this Youtube video (starting at 1h 16 minutes).

Video clip from the 2013 Siyakhula Celebrations

If you weren’t able to make it to the Siyakhula Living Lab celebrations in April, please click here to view a video snippet of the event, in the former Transkei on the 18th of April 2013. The colourful 5 minute video by Australian filmaker Keith Diamond, features prominent figures such as the Honourable Deputy Minister – Communications and the SLL communities, academia, government and industry.

Broadband - A catalyst for Sustainable Economic Development and Promoting Digital Inclusion

This year, the prestigious Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC) conference was hosted at Stellenbosch's Spier Estate in the Western Cape. SATNAC is the flagship conference for the 16 Telkom Centres of Excellence hosted in Computer Science and Engineering Departments at universities around the country.  The 3 day conference was held from the 1st - 4th of Sept 2013.

The welcome address was delivered by Prof Brian O'Connell, Rector and Vice Chancellor at University of the Western Cape, and the keynote address was delivered by the Honourable Yunus Carrim, Minister of Communications - South Africa. In his speech, the Minister reaffirmed his commitment to deliver a broadband policy, strategy and plan by the end of Nov 2013.

Congratulations to Ms Sibukele Gumbo, the Siyakhula Living Lab Project Lead, for winning one of the 2013 Eastern Cape Women in ICT Awards!

The awards recognize achievers in the ICT field who operate in the Eastern Cape, and was a well deserved accolade for Sibukele, for the work that she does for the Siyakhula Living Lab, with the highest professionalism but also with imagination, dedication and pragmatism. Over the years, her role has been key to the life of the SLL,  while contributing to the scholarly knowledge onLiving Labs, through academic papers presented at national and international conferences.

The awards were handed over by the Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni –Abrahams, at a glittery breakfast in East London on July 9th.  As it happens, Sibukele was in Mozambique for that week, as a lecturer in the 3rd Summer School of ICTs, organized by the Maputo Living Lab, on server-side service development. The award was received on her behalf by Ncedisa Ncapai, Director of the Amahlumela Foundation.

Siyakhula Living Lab presents in East Africa

This year, the IST-Africa Conference and Exhibition was hosted at the Safari Park Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya on the 29th to the 31st of May 2013. The event, which was the 8th of its series, and was attended by approximately 400 delegates, mainly from Africa and Europe. It featured 11 exhibition stands and 45 Parallel Sessions with representatives from public, private, education and research organisations in 40 countries (22 African and 18 European).

Mathe and I (Sibukele) attended on behalf of the Siyakhula Living Lab. Our contributions towards towards this conference were as follows:

I made a short Siyakhula Living Lab presentation in an intervention session on Tuesday the 28th in the Annual Living Labs Working Group Meeting. This group meeting was intended to discuss the potential of leveraging Living Labs methodologies for socio-economic development.

Two Siyakhula Living Lab papers were presented at the parallel sessions at the conference. Mathe presented a paper entitled ‘A Look into Classification: Towards Building an Indigenous Knowledge Platform for Educational Use’ in the Technology-Enhanced learning session, while I presented ‘eSkills Training on Communal Fixed Infrastructure as an Activator of Personal Use of Mobile Internet’ in a Living Labs to Support Skills Development session.

More information on the conference is available here.

Come and celebrate with us, Dwesa, 18 April : Thank you and Online Articles

On behalf the Siyakhula Living Lab rural communities and university researchers, I would like to humbly thank the presence of attendees from national, provincial and local government, industry, academia and other entities, at the celebration in Dwesa. The huge turnout, support and vibrancy (in the rain and cold) meant quite a lot to us.

Some online articles so far are available at the following links:

We have loaded a subset of the event photographs here

kind regards

Sibukele Gumbo

Project Lead and Site Webmaster

Siyakhula Living Lab

Come and celebrate with us, Dwesa, 18 April : Invite and Programme

It is our pleasure to invite you to the Siyakhula Living Lab celebration now finally confirmed for the 18th of April 2013, in Dwesa, in the former Transkei of the Eastern Cape. The official invitation, draft programme and information guide has also been attached for your convenience. The event will be an opportunity for:

  • relevant government and industry bodies to visit a ICT telecommunications deployment, based on fixed and mobile WiMAX, VSAT, open source software and thin clients, in a marginalized community;
  • individuals to gain a hands-on understanding on what the concept of ‘deep rural’ means;
  • showcase the fieldsite from which the Telkom Centres of Excellence in ICT4D and Distributed Multimedia derives their research projects.

The Siyakhula Living Lab : An important step forward for South Africa and Africa

The declaration by Communications Minister, Dina Pule underpins the initiative called the Siyakhula Living Lab, launched in 2006 by Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Development in a marginalised rural community in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.The 20 000 people who are part of this community live in what is known as ‘Dwesa’ in the Mbashe Municipality, close to the Wild Coast’s Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve. ....

Click here to read more on the Siyakhula Living Lab stakeholder experiences in this recently published 64 page document, courtesy of the Department of Marketing and Communication at Rhodes University.

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