Project Description

The phase I of the project will run for two years (November 2014 to 2016). The project has five objective components as explained below.

Component 1:    Providing space for teaching, research and housing of ICT facilities by constructing a building
The component aims at providing ICT space for training, research and housing related facilities. This includes training of future agricultural leaders and smallholder farmers thereby increased agricultural productivity and improved access to market.
This also will create awareness on how farmers can employ the opportunities brought by ICT to enhance access to agricultural extension services including farming calendar, marketing information, weather / climate forecasts and many others. Furthermore, currently teaching and research staff have no adequate office space for them to be able to perform their functions.
This situation has contributed to giving staff low morale to work at SUA. In addition, ICT facilities such as video conferencing need conducive space for increased communication that support teaching, research, outreach and administrative functions. A data recovery room designed to improved data security is highly needed. To achieve all these we need a building that will provide space for training of agricultural specialists and smallholder farmers, research and housing related facilities.

Component 2:    Strengthening SUA ICT infrastructure by establishing a reliable e-mail system, fully equipped computer labs, servers, LAN, video conferencing facility, security systems
This is the main stay of this project as all other components depend on it to function successfully. This involves improving and maintaining the university ICT infrastructure which include connecting and linking buildings and campuses, rehabilitate and equip existing computer labs, acquisition of the state-of-the art hardware and software, training and customization of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
This component will also involve acquisition and installation of servers that will cater for the increasing university ICT requirements. Power backup and data recovery mechanisms in the server rooms will also be strengthened. Furthermore, this component will involve installing of library security systems to secure library materials.

Component 3:    Improving Internet connectivity and bandwidth
As already pointed out, the performance of the current Internet services is low because of unreliable connectivity that uses wireless technology and low bandwidth. Wireless technologies are also very expensive compared to wired technologies. This component therefore, aims at improving connectivity and increasing bandwidth up to 150 Mbps by connecting SUA to the National Fibre-Optic backbone.

Component 4:    Establishing an integrated information systems for training, research, outreach and administrative activities
The fourth component aims at establishing an integrated information system to enable the University to increase the efficiency with which it handles academic, administrative and finance issues.
Academic matters that will be addressed by the system will entail issues like admission and registration, student records management, processing and management of examinations, student feedback, library management, and timetabling among many other functions. Administrative and financial issues such as human resource management, payroll management, inventory management, procurement processes, financial accounting, and document management are among the aspects to be handled by the proposed system. This also aims at establishing e-learning facilities.

Component 5:    Enhancing ICT and management skills among users
This component is geared towards empowering SUA staff in order to fully utilize and manage ICTs. This will be achieved through awareness creation, orientation and enhancing staff skills on the use of available ICTs and those acquired through this project in order to increase efficiency in their respective operations.