ICT symposium: AMU ready to collaborate other institutions

The three-day ICT symposium jointly hosted by AMU and Huawei that began on October 10, at Main Campus have witnessed myriad of presentations that ensued vigorous interactions putting everyone on the even keel echoed one voice ‘to have highly advance and completely optimized ICT infrastructure’ for good governance and quality of education across all institutions. Click here to see the symposium pictures.

Giving credence to the expressed sentiments, AMU President, Dr Feleke Woldeyes, in his concluding remark has expressed AMU’s willingness to collaborate with institutions in need to get their IT infrastructure enriched.

Arba Minch University’s Vice-President for Academic Affair, Dr Agena Anjulo in his opening speech, said, ‘‘This symposium is intended to bring together those involved in the challenges of implementing and using ICT in their respective organizations and discuss those challenges faced and arrive at some conclusion.’’

Dr Agena further said, ‘‘I hope, it to be suitable environment for the participants to learn from each other and discuss the latest developments, research outcomes, and share knowledge on a range of issues and approaches. The exchange of ideas will help to harness the potential of ICT towards the overall improvement of higher education in the country.

We have developed an ICT infrastructure and its benefits at first-hand seen here in Arba Minch University. A committed, well-planned and collaborative approach is in progress to further heighten ICT services by our personnel. You will have a chance to see while you are here and I am sure some of you have different experiences in your own institutions,’’ he averred.

ICT Director, Mr Yoseph Debele, while giving the comprehensive picture about ICT’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, informed the participants about variety of current ICT projects and those are in the pipeline.

Ministry of Education officials, Mr Zelalem Assefa from Addis Ababa via video conferencing and Mr Nebiyou Samuel at the symposium expatiated at length on Ethiopian Education and Research Network (EthERNet) Current Status, Future Prospects and Way Forward.

Mr Samuel informed, EthERNet, an initiative of Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and EthERNet working group begun in 2001 as part of a national capacity building program along with SchoolNet and WoredaNet. The project is funded by Ethio Telecom NGN Vendor Financing Program.

The project delivers multiple services and promotes joint institutional content development, facilitates access to large databases and sharing of research results; provides centralized training, capacity building and advisory services to member institutions etc.

AMU’s AMiT instructor, Mr Alemseged Kassahun, in his crisp presentation centering around ‘Hybrid Cloud: A Proposal for Higher Education Institutions,’ said, ‘‘Cloud computing is a model that enables convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

He stressed upon its salient features, on its feasibility, he adds, ‘‘It’s an aggregate of private and public cloud; using only public cloud poses high security risk, whereas only private cloud has got its own limitations.

AMU Deputy Registrar Mr Mohammad’s presentation was on Students Management Information System (SMIS) in Arba Minch University; he dwelt upon its objective and advantages for the university community.

Amanuel Chali from Jimma University’s presentation was also centered on SMIS followed by the question and answer sessions.

Participants from Addis Ababa, Jimma, Dilla, Debre Markos, Bahir Dar, Haramayya, Aksum, Wollo universities; ICT Excellency, EthERNet and others then took the round to get the first hand knowledge about AMU ICT infrastructure.

Huawei, makes its presence felt; all want better ICT infrastructure

The next day, ICT symposium could generate much needed hoopla as the day began with many presentations evincing different perspectives.

ICT Director, Mr Yoseph Debele, set the tone, the day after, picking highly mechanized presentation on ‘Security Assessment and Risk Analysis over LAN Services and Applications.’

He began with the outline, sharing its background, rationale, vulnerability assessment and identification; security risk analysis & countermeasures; conclusions and recommendations.

He cited the core service and business process applications offered by LAN i.e. Intranet, web caching and content filtration (proxy), e-mail, official website, DHCP, DNS, backup service, SIMS, WIMS, HRIMS, LIMS etc.

He underscored the study intends to investigate vulnerabilities on AMU LAN systems, the associated risks and recommending apt countermeasures for the available vulnerabilities.

He touched upon the scope of research, its method, network security risk analysis & countermeasures, routers & firewalls’ vulnerability and their impact; hosts security risk analysis & countermeasures and web applications.

‘‘AMU or any institution if wants well entrenched ICT system, then they need to have strong ICT policy for IT governance, security and program change management; for physical access, environmental control, ICT service continuity, logical access control, internet acceptable use policy and incident handling,’’ he recommends.

One of the sponsors, HUAWEI – a leading global ICT solution provider that has earned a pride of place in the list of Fortune Global 500, said to be the premier telecom industry having its footprints in many countries across the globe. It serves 1/3 of the global population has found its root in Ethiopia in 1999.

One of its officials, Mr Ashenafi Chen, Huawei said to have over 50 percent of the market share for 3G networks in Ethiopia, and boast to have numbers of government projects at hand. Relating its impressive market profile and informing about end numbers of services said to have analyzed ICT needs and identified lacunae existing in many education institutions in Ethiopia.

To set ICT in order, he states, ‘‘The IT infrastructure for the high education should be well-planned, phased, future and research-oriented, cost-effective, smooth expansion and smooth upgrade.’’ He also informed the participants about the entire IT services being offered ranging from network infrastructure, smart classroom, tablet, VDI for education cloud, hybrid power supply for university and green data solution etc.

On Modular data centre solution, Huawei, provides simplified engineering short-periods construction, low power usage effectiveness (PUE), high efficiency and flexible structures etc.

AMU’s Mr Tesfaye Habtemariam, spoke on E-learning for Ethiopian Higher Education: Issues, alternatives and opportunities followed by the presentation on Collaboration & human resource development in Ethiopian Higher Institutions’ ICTs by Mr Yosef Shiferaw of Addis Ababa University.

AMU President, Dr Feleke Woldeyes, in his valedictory speech, said, ‘‘ICT isn’t all about technology; but it’s a matter of good governance that paves the way for better administration and handling of students’ cases in different forms.

Sounding a caution to others, he said, we might have made headway, yet lots of gaps are to be filled. Being impressed by ICT progress in the university, he called upon others to emulate the trend set by ICT, and takes it as the role model of progress and development.

The symposium concluded with the participants being taken on a recreational trip to Chamo Lake and Nech Sar Park, followed by experience sharing in the evening. Bahir Dar University has keen interest to host such type of symposium in future.

By Philips Joseph