The 7th annual NEC XON ICT summit took place at Sun City, South Africa on 11 October 2018. This year, NEC XON focused on how the Fourth Industrial Revolution can serve Africa and overcome some of the continents’ socioeconomic challenges. The theme of the meeting was “Can 4.0 Be Africa’s hero?”. The summit was organized by Nippon Electric Company (NEC XON) Japan who facilitated the attendance of representatives from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and officers from the Kenya Department of Immigration Services, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
The summit looked into the current and developing environment in which disruptive and advanced technologies and trends such as the internet, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work. About 350 delegates attended the event and came from Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory- Coast, Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, Japan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom among others. Kenya was represented by Ms. Alicent Odipo, Senior Deputy Director of Immigration Services, Mr. Simon Gaguru, Senior Chief Immigration Officer, and IOM Kenya Country office with Mr. David Lukiri, National Programme Officer.
“This is the time to embrace change, it is the critical time of industrial revolution of adoption of advanced technology and it requires individuals, society, cooperate and governments to embrace artificial intelligence and systems with the changes of 21 century” Takashi Niino, NEC president emphasised during his opening remarks. The conference aimed to help governments and the private sector to nurture Public-Private Partnership, and agencies to have a deeper understanding of Artificial Intelligence. The summit participation is part of the continuing efforts to enhance security and border management in Kenya and across the Africa region, and global borders.
The Kenya delegation’s lessons learned included extracting the relevant technological, administrative and management innovations and skills that can be applied into African context, particulalry in improving management systems, and service delivery with technology in this era of fourth industrial revolution. The Kenyan delegation visited the NEC Corporation exhibit to gain more knowledge on how the company is leveraging innovation towards an information-friendly society to humans and the planet Earth.
NEC specializes in facial recognition and biometrics that are useful in the management of the immigration process. Countries such as South Africa is using a multipurpose National Identification system while Singapore uses enhanced immigration automated clearance system by NEC. Ms. Alicent Odipo, Senior Deputy Director of Immigration Services, briefed the NEC president on the use of facial recognition at selected border points in Kenya and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Installation of this technology has enhanced security and efficiency of operations. “The facial recognition is great technology that Kenya is implementing with the support of IOM with funding from the government of Japan.”