As it marks 25 years since it held its first event, the upcoming AITEC East Africa ICT Summit – set for October 24-25, 2012, in Nairobi at the Oshwal Centre – a constellation of leaders from the region’s IT sector will gather for a celebration dinner and toast to 25 years of AITEC Africa’s positive impact on the industry.
ICT professionals recognize that AITEC Africa events have enabled the region to learn about technologies and innovations from other markets, and almost as soon as they emerge.
“I remember a heated debate at AITEC ICT Summit in 1998 on GSM and CDMA technologies, three years before networks like Safaricom and Kencell sprung up. In other editions of AITEC conferences, there were futuristic discussions on WiMAX, 3G, ERPs, Cloud Computing and LTE. These are now realities,” said Simon Muchoki, an engineer at ZTE.
AITEC has sponsored over 2000 high-level tech leaders, technology developers and expert speakers from global organizations all over the world to speak, present or train participants at the conferences, resulting in highly successful knowledge sharing sessions.
Through AITEC Africa’s conferences and technology showcases many regional technology decision makers pride in a worthwhile platform for comparison of technology products. The conferences have also helped widen the borders for interaction with local developers meeting important contacts.
Paul Kukubo, CEO of the Kenya ICT Board says the ICT Summit is a source of updates for ICT professionals in different markets on technology advancement:
“Conferences of a global nature such as the annual AITEC East Africa ICT Summit continue to play an important role in passing knowledge relating to inventions and innovations from other parts of the world,” he said.
One can piece together the technology evolution in East Africa from a study of the topics of the AITEC ICT Summit over the years. Sample this: In 1990, AITEC Africa’s first conference was themed “computers,” a vivid resonance to the skills needs that characterized the market. There followed other topics like ‘The advent of mobile telephony’; “The entry of the smart phone’; “Networking,” among other topics.
Fast forward to 2012 and the year’s theme for AITEC East Africa ICT Summit is “Smart Cities, Smart Societies, Smart enterprises” with IBM as the event’s Smart Solutions Partner.
The two-day conference will focus on technologies that make cities more efficient- and which integrate multiple technologies to ensure faster processes in functions such as government services, transport, and energy use, among others.
Relatively new to East Africa, adoption of smart city solutions is fast becoming an important milestone for leading cities. As lead sponsor of the Summit, IBM will bring in thought leaders on city and community management systems from the US and Europe to kick-start the debate. A range of other international companies involved in development of smart city technologies will also participate in the conference.
Other topics at the Summit will revolve around Cloud Computing, Security and Mobile applications whose other partners are KPMG and Kenya National Council of Science and Technology (NCST).