Action for Industry (AfI) in Africa helps to strengthen industry activities in African sections.

Why Action for Industry?

There is a distinctive drop in the number of IEEE members during the transition from student membership to young professionals. Why is this the case? One of the reasons is because most of the content from IEEE tends to be more relevant to academics and researchers only. With regards to industry, IEEE prides itself in the wide variety of standards. IEEE has noted this gap with concern. With this in mind, measures are in place to foster more industry engagements.

Final group photo on Day 2

The Action for Industry initiative aims to reestablish IEEE relevance in industry. This will ensure more industry members get value from their membership. The 2019 plan of the AfI further set its sights on mentoring members across different disciplines. These include members who work in industry, entrepreneurs, young professionals and students.

Regional Workshop Meeting

Recently, an Action for Industry Ambassadors workshop meeting took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop meeting of Action for Industry Ambassadors in Nairobi was an amazing event. Representatives from various countries attended the meeting in order to discuss the arising matters. Ambassadors from Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Tunisia, UK, Cyprus and Ireland represented in the workshop. The meeting addressed the measures that need to be put in place to ensure interaction with the industries in the focus countries. The leaders expressed their best approaches to establishing cooperation in their countries. Similarly, they discussed how to move forward with the outcomes as seen. This was one of the regional workshops.

Sohaib Sheikh, Vice-Chair, 2019 IEEE Region 8 Committee giving his remarks

Role of AfI in Africa

The role of the Action for Industry (AfI) in Africa is to help strengthen industry activities in African sections. The end goal is to ensure satisfaction, membership growth, participation value and sustainability. The workshop brought together both IEEE and non-IEEE members. It engaged some industry representatives to emphasize potential future partnerships. As a result, these representatives pointed out areas where their companies would take interest in. This came with the purpose of bringing the much needed transparency in the brainstorm sessions.

Workshop Sessions and Activities

The two day event involved visits to some of the industry partners such as Africa’s Talking, Centurion and Safaricom. These companies have been fundamental in the mentoring and support of the IEEE Kenya Section members and their growth. In its quest to restore the relevance of IEEE to industry, AfI examines the avenues through which members of the industry and IEEE can add value to each other and ensure a healthy connection between the two. Building ties with industry is key because their feedback is very significant in the transition from student membership to professional.

The participants having a break during the sessions

What are AfI’s Achievements?

The presence of the Action for Industry initiative in Africa has shown some very commendable achievements. For example, students have secured opportunities to undertake their internships in reputable companies. This has significantly risen over time. Through workshops and trainings, industry members have increased their professional knowledge. Young professionals in fact use their volunteering skills to improve their resumes. They also get to improve the quality of their resumes through the Resume Lab.

The IEEE Learning Network database has numerous technical and non-technical resources that IEEE members in industry can capitalize on. Even better, they get education certifications through the IEEE Certificates Program These offer them Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs) to maintain their engineering licenses. These are offered at very affordable rates for members.

The attendees listening to the presentations

As a matter of fact, there are other notable services and products that IEEE offers its members in industry. Startups and entrepreneurs can now get the skills they require through the IEEE Entrepreneurship society. These members get to participate in IEEE conferences and conference proceedings, adding value to their membership. Industry trend papers offers unending insights on emerging technologies. Industry members not only network during such activities but also garner professional development resources. These are essential in their career growth.

The AfI Ambassadors from Kenya

Special regards go to Region 8 for facilitating this workshop and making it happen. Congratulations to the IEEE Kenya Action for Industry Ambassadors liaisons John Matogo and Lavender Ndunya for ensuring the success of this wonderful event.