East African Community launches science and technology commission
Countries comprising the East African Community (EAC) have taken a major step towards developing their science and technology sectors with the establishment of the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO).
Speaking at the launch in Kigali on Friday, Valentine Rugwabiza, the minister for East African Community Affairs, said: "The EAC believes that science and technology is a powerful tool to drive regional development; however, the EASTECO staff alone cannot achieve that goal. I therefore, call for partnership with governments, private, research and innovation institutions to ensure the commission delivers to the best."
"Considering that two thirds of the EAC population is under 30 years, we will make use of our energetic youth, put in place the right policies creating a good environment for science and technology to realise the development we envisage.”
The EAC is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. It established a common market for goods and labour in 2010 and eventually aims for full political federation, as well as a shared currency.
At the signing of the agreement, EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera highlighted that the EAC Council of Ministers chose Rwanda to house EASTECO because of the country's commitment to promote science and technology.
Gertrude Ngabirano, the EASTECO executive secretary, said: "Rwanda's commitments toward science and technology make it the perfect place to host the commission and we are committed to engage the partner states in the functioning of the commission. The private sector and development partners will also be engaged."
Ngabirano also suggested that EAC member states increase funding for science, technology and innovation to at least 2 per cent of GDP, which currently languished at less than 1 per cent, except Rwanda which has met the threshold.
Increasing spending on science and technology in this way will not only enable more scientists and technologists to operate, but will also have the knock on effect of stimulating job growth around this sector.
SOURCE: [All Africa]
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”