Poly hosts Indabax

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   June 6, 2019
PIC: Participants pose after the workshop
The Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Malawi Polytechnic conducted the first ever Machine-learning conference called the Indabax Malawi 2019, from May 30 to June 1 at the new ICT/ODL Conference room.

This is an event that aimed at bringing together students and young lecturers who are interested in Machine Learning. It is also part of a larger initiative in strengthening machine learning in Africa. 

The Dean of Faculty of Applied Science Dr Ishmael Kosamu was quoted on the Indabax website saying; “ We are excited to host the 2019 Africa Deep Learning Indaba. This is a rare opportunity to share, learn and establish lifetime professional networks that will grow our intelligence.”

One of main organizers of the event Dr Amelia Taylor described the event as a success because it has received support from the industry, the institution, presenters and students from different colleges within Blantyre.

“We had talks from different participants, practicals, labs, panel discussions where we shared case studies from the industry and other research houses.  We shared knowledge and experiences. We also have a competition which is open to all participants.” Dr Taylor explained.

One of the presenters T Arthur Chibwana observed that it is imperative to have such conferences in all areas in the country because there is so much need for data to be analysed.

“One of the key challenges we have in Malawi’s capacity is that we do have people with the right knowledge and skills but they do not have the platform to demonstrate what they are capable of doing. Developing world is spending huge amounts of money recruiting people from other countries to do small jobs that local people can handle.” Chibwana said.

An IT officer from World Vision Malawi Victoria Goma explained that it has been a very fruitful event to her being an IT officer. 

“I have been impressed by what I have learned here from various presentations specifically the presenter who studied medicine but now is into programming. Most of the things have been new to me hence the need to go back and read, do research, in order to broaden my knowledge,” Goma said.

Dickson Kapichi and Mayamiko Msonkho are some of the students who attended the event. They share the same sentiments of encouraging students especially those in engineering and IT programs to participate in such functions, in order to gain extra knowledge from experts.


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