News mentions

2024

April


Sustainable shopping app wins Afretec competition
The American University in Cairo

Three students studying finance at the American University in Cairo won an Afretec-sponsored competition that challenged over 200 participants from 14 African countries to promote sustainability using technology tools. The team, composed of juniors Salma Afifi, Jumana Elhefnawy, and Maya Abu Shahba, created an app called ScanHa, which invites shoppers to learn how sustainable an item is by scanning its barcode and offering eco-friendly alternatives.


Afretec commits to enhancing collaborations for research advancement
The New Times

The African Engineering and Technology Network pledged to foster enhanced collaborations between universities and increase research levels across Africa during a workshop. Afretec, a ten-year project with six current university members, aims to drive inclusive digital growth through higher education and collaboration. The recent workshop, hosted by the University of Rwanda, emphasized the importance of collaborating across disciplines and beyond regional borders. Speakers highlighted the need to involve policymakers in discussions on research and innovation, as well as the importance of addressing societal challenges through impactful actions.


March


Afretec gender in STEM workshop
University of the Witwatersrand

The Afretec Gender in STEM workshop took place from February 19-24, 2024. Hosted by the University of Rwanda and CMU-Africa, 10 students from Wits University attended the session and learned about common issues for women in the technology sector and academia as well as how to solve these problems.


Afretec supports 400 trainees at skill-building workshop
The New Times

Roughly 400 trainees gathered for a workshop at the University of Rwanda to build their emerging technology skills. The Afretec member institution offered activities focused on topics like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and embedded systems and programming.


February


CMU-Africa works with Afretec to promote gender inclusivity in STEM
The New Times

CMU-Africa works with the other members of Afretec, a network of six universities based in Africa, to promote gender inclusivity in STEM. Afretec recently opened a three-day workshop focusing on common barriers to female representation in STEM, emphasizing that women play a crucial role in the evolving landscape of STEM fields. CMU-Africa’s associate director, Nancy Biwott, explains to The New Times that, regardless of science or art, each person should be allowed to pursue their passion. “Whether you are a female or a male, every interest is valid,” Biwott says.


Afretec brings workshop to University of Rwanda
The New Times

Academic staff at the University of Rwanda attended an Afretec-sponsored workshop on January 26 that focused on optimal teaching and learning methodologies for engineering and technology education.


2023


December


Afretec member Wits University sweeps Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education Intervarsity finals
University of the Witwatersrand

Afretec member Wits University sweeps Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Intervarsity finals, which were held from November 30 to December 1, 2023. The school recorded three achievements, and Wits student Asif Aziz took home R20 000 for winning the Tech category with his platform Libex. Medical student Lethabo Maphopha also represented Wits with his company BroughtCargo, an ecommerce platform that bridges the supply chain gap for smaller businesses and helps them compete more effectively in the marketplace. Finally, Wits also received the DVC of the Year award for their exceptional efforts in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.


November


Wits University secures research grant as part of Afretec collaboration
University of the Witwatersrand

Multiple departments from Wits University are receiving funding from the Afretec Member Inclusive Digital Transformation Research Grant as part of the Afretec collaboration. These include the School of Education, the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, the School of Economics and Finance, the Department of Neurological Surgery, and the School of Electrical and Information Engineering and Department of Internal Medicine.


Afretec educates UR staff in cybersecurity through three-day workshop
The New Times

The University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology held a three-day workshop where 32 staff members learned about cybersecurity and protecting their computers and data. This Afretec initiative is part of the collaboration's goal to support inclusive digital growth.


Faculty Enrichment Program provides opportunities to learn
Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Carnegie Mellon University Africa, in collaboration with the University of Witwatersrand, held its annual Faculty Enrichment Program in October. The Faculty Enrichment Program aims to support ICT instructors by providing an opportunity to explore effective teaching and learning methods and approaches and network with colleagues across institutions.


October


Afretec research planning grant brings assistive technologies to those in need
Carnegie Mellon University Africa

In 2022, the African Engineering and Technology Network awarded one of its first research planning grants to a team of researchers whose goal is to make assistive technologies accessible in second and third-world countries. As a direct result of this funding, the team wrote a paper and presented their findings at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETEC-CIE), which took place from August 20-23, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts


Pan-African network celebrates collaboration at second annual conference
Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Higher education leaders from across the continent recently convened at the University of Nairobi for the 2023 Afretec Conference. At the event, attendees reflected on the network's accomplishments and planned for the year ahead. The African Engineering and Technology Network partners centered discussion around the pillars of entrepreneurship, inclusion and impact, teaching and learning, and knowledge creation.

September


Afretec workshop held at the University of Rwanda
The New Times

A one-day academia-industry workshop was held at the University of Rwanda to discuss collaboration. The workshop took place on September 13, 2023, gathering the Afretec implementation team, academic staff, private industry partners, and Afretec beneficiaries. At the event, the stakeholders discussed how the quality of education can be improved through the Afretec project in collaboration with industries.


August


Winning group of Wits-Afretec Tech-Entrepreneurship Workshop create sign language translator prototype
University of the Witwatersrand

The Wits-Afretec Tech-Entrepreneurship Workshop brings together students from different universities around Africa to create technology and AI solutions for everyday problems. This year, the winning group created a sign language translator prototype that revolutionizes the way those with speech and hearing difficulties access healthcare. With technology like this, patients will be able to better communicate with their providers and experience fewer misdiagnoses and misunderstandings.


May


$3.3 million awarded to advance digital technology in Africa
CMU College of Engineering

Afretec has awarded 11 grants, each led by a multi-university research team, to build research capacity and work toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.