Inclusively empowering the next generation of internet of things champions: a capacity-building programme for youth in Tanzania (IoT-4-Youths)

October 2023 to September 2025
Internet of Things (IoT) technology
IoT laboratory
youth-championed projects
artificial intelligence
solving community problems
Mzumbe University (Tanzania)
Research fields
Social Sciences
Technology and Engineering

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has the potential to help automate processes in multiple domains such as health, agriculture, transport and logistics, promote smart eco-transition and personalized services. However, implementing IoT in Tanzania is lagging due to a lack of IoT knowledge and skills, as well as infrastructure. Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs) are expected to champion such initiatives, but most (including Mzumbe University (MzU)) do not have modern laboratories(labs) to carry out projects that will impart skills to students. MzU students are interested in carrying out IoT-based projects as their final requirement for graduation but are limited by the unavailability of an equipped IoT laboratory and guiding experts. This project aims to improve youth participation in IoT-based projects by establishing an IoT laboratory at MzU, transferring knowledge between Flemish and MzU academic staff in IoT-based research, supervision, youth engagement and piloting at least three IoT-based youth-championed projects. This will encourage more youths, especially females, to get involved in IoT (subsequently Artificial Intelligence (AI)) projects. The project will promote sustainable development by solving community problems through IoT, such as environmental and climate change, agriculture, health, and personalised services. The lack of IoT laboratories also limits MzU staff from advancing their research and knowledge on IoT, making it difficult for them to mentor students even when they have their own devices for IoT projects. With the establishment of an IoT laboratory, MzU staff will be able to advance their research and knowledge on IoT and mentor students, thus promoting sustainable development in Tanzania. Finally, the project will provide a model for other HLIs in Tanzania to follow in establishing IoT laboratories and advancing research projects in IoT.