July 4, 2023

Rwandans Create INNODIP Software To Connect Industry and Academia

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All attendees also had a group photo

A team of Rwandan software developers have demonstrated an in-house built software that will be used to implement the innovative, research-based, and inclusive digital platform project (INNODIP).

INNODIP Project is a new web-based platform which aims to address the information gap between industry employers and graduates by conducting research on the job market needs and collecting data and information on potential employees.

The all-government and private-sector inclusive project is supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid) and the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) and implemented by the University of Tourism, Technology, and Business Studies (UTB) with other stakeholders in Rwanda.

The creation of the software is part of the INNODIP project implementation process following its inauguration in Kigali in February this year.

Flaubert Harubwira, the software developers’ team leader presented the software functions, design and development progress and the team behind it.

In the demo, Harubwira showed that the software design was ready with different features of software, registration and login process, and how the software will accommodate and manage data to be fed in the system.

The stakeholders and participants in the software validation meeting held at Lemigo Hotel this last week had the time to ask questions on the presentation before joining groups for inputs to perfect the software functions.

Feedback from the groups showed that there is need to include the security of data, to register the platform on iCloud and with the Rwanda National Cybersecurity Cell and obtain a certificate before utilizing these applications and link it with the National Id Agency (NIDA).

Kundan Kumar, a UTB Lecturer & Software Developer said that the feedback was invaluable, providing the team with fresh and insightful perspectives.

“As a Software Developer deeply involved in this project, we gathered a wealth of information during the session, which we’re eager to integrate and align with industry requirements,” Kumar said.

Through meetings and workshops the project team interacted with representatives of the 13 organizations to validate the software design and validation to enable effective attainment of the project goals.

The validation workshop enabled linking the research findings to the software development as planned in the project milestone.

The final version of the INNODIP software will be unveiled soon with inputs from different stakeholders in the project.

These include: all universities in Rwanda, ministries, Private sector, and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA), Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and National Union of Disability Organizations of Rwanda (NUDOR) and others.

At the launch of the project in February 2023, the Vice-Chancellor of UTB, Prof. Dr. Simeon Wiehler said that this will not only directly connect skilled graduate databases to the industrial labor market but also solve the problem of former graduates who have no direct connections to the job industry.

Rwanda Development Board officials said that this platform is an added asset to the established RDB online job information portal, career guidance, and labor market opportunities alongside the three existing employment services centers (in Kigali, Huye, and Musanze) and placing over 1,000 interns in both public and private institutions over the last 10 years.

“The launched project is an asset that adds value to what we have been doing. So, let’s join efforts to optimize the impact of the interventions that we are implementing,” said Abdou Musonera, the RDB Labour market analyst.

Research work done ahead of the establishment of the platform show the platform is needed in order to address existing employment gaps as the rate of unemployment in Rwanda has hit 17.4%

INNODIP research shows that in the current employment needs assessment there is lack of collaboration between the industry and academia, which has been noticed as one of the causes of unemployment.

For instance, a project validation meeting held on May 25, 2023, findings showed that research is not used in academia and industry and both academia and industry were not connected and their collaboration was relatively moderate (50%).

“The findings show that there is a big percentage of no collaboration, and yet a large percentage of correspondents (88.4%) said that a digital platform would connect them,” said Emmanuel Kassajja the Lead Researcher for INNODIP.

Prof. Wasajja KIWANUKA, project coordinator, makes introductory remarks
Dr. Kundan Kumar speaking during the session
Group discussions on the new INNODIP software

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