MUST students in final 25 of Dell competition

The winners

Four students and alumni from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) have become the first representatives from the Southern African country to make it into the top 25 of Dell Technologies’ Envision the Future competition.

Six years ago, Dell Technologies launched the annual graduation project competition for senior undergraduate students from universities in the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey. 

'Titled Envision the future', the competition seeks to spark the creativity of students for their graduation projects to play an active role in the transformation of IT and get the opportunity to shine and win prizes. 

And a team of Dumisani Namakhwa, Ruth Mtuwa, Arthur Mwang’onda and Mphatso Kampira joined the 2021 edition with their project aimed at enabling remote measurement and tracking of hypertension, one of the leading causes of death in Malawi. 

“Dell wants the projects under this competition to be in the areas of Internet of Thing (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Multi-cloud. The first phase of the competition was instigated in November 2020, and as a team we submitted our application and we were successfully admitted into the next stage which began in February this year,” said Namakhwa in an interview. 

“We then submitted an interim report, detailing the progress of the report thus far. We then made it to the final round of the competition, which comprises of 25 teams, where we are being mentored by top engineers working at Dell. Out of 233 projects, we were selected to be among the 25 finalists.” 

Namakhwa said they are excited that with their project, Malawi has for the first time since the competition started, made it to the finalist stage.

According to information obtained on Dell Technologies website, the company realizes that use of technology has continued to expand in reach and depth into all sectors, including the healthcare wellness and education of human beings. 

“This was aided by the huge technological advancements in areas such as Internet-of-Things, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence. There are no signs that the adoption of technology in these areas is slowing down anytime soon.

"At Dell Technologies, we are committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.

"Consequently, the 2020/2021 Dell Technologies’ Envision the Future competition encourages the submission of graduation projects that focus on the use of AI, IoT, and Multi-Cloud technologies to develop innovative solutions that address the current and emerging challenges in the well-being, healthcare and education sectors,” says Dell Technologies.

This is the sixth edition of the competition and last year, the first prize of US$5,000 went to a team from United States International University in Kenya with the project called “Enhancing Healthcare Access through Remote Infant Screening”.

Other prizes in the competition include US$4,000 for the second winner and US$3,000 for the third place winners with all the Top 10 team members getting recognition certificates for their achievements.

The finalists projects also get mentoring opportunities by Dell experts and a formal award ceremony is usually organized at one of the major Dell Technologies events in the region. 

“All the members of the winning team and their academic advisor(s) will be invited to attend the ceremony along with senior officials from their university/college,” says Dell.