Capacity Building in Computer Science as a Driver of Innovation

Program Areas – Development

school of computing

University of Nairobi, School of Computing and Informatics Building

A significant computer science research community has been quietly emerging in sub-Saharan Africa, and with it the potential to fuel new and transformative innovation. Computer science and engineering underlie numerous innovations – from mobile telephony to geographic information systems – that are reshaping critical infrastructure in Africa like communication, banking, and transportation. This, in turn, is reshaping the everyday lives of people living in both urban and rural areas.

The computer science knowledge and connected technologies that support existing innovation have largely been created outside of Africa, mainly by international private companies. But recent evidence suggests that local computer science expertise, human capital, and innovative capacity are being created in sub-Saharan Africa.

This NSF funded research project analyzes important emergent developments in the construction of an African computer science capacity by examining the innovation ecology surrounding prominent computer science departments in two key cities in East Africa: Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. The main goal of the proposed research is to understand how computer science capacity is being built in Kenya and Uganda and how this capacity is connected to socially and economically relevant local innovation.

Meet the project team members.

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*** This project is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (SES-1257145)***

Additional Team Members