By Yousef Ibrahim, VP-Membership (2022)
It is great to expand the number of IES chapters thus creating satellite IES communities around the world. However, giving birth to new chapters around the world does not alleviate our responsibility to support and sustain those new chapters to grow and blossom to serve IES local members. They are conduits for channelling IES support to its members. This is especially true for members in developing countries where travel to participate in our regular conferences is a challenge.
Among the 42 new chapters recently established we have a few chapters established in Africa such as in Kenya, Egypt, Libya, Uganda, Tunisia and Libya. We also had chapters in South Africa and Algeria.
Therefore, it was important to meet and conduct a workshop with the chapters’ leaders in different geographical areas such as Africa which is going through renaissance that made it recently of special international interest.
Therefore, IES chapters leaders in Africa were invited to participate in a tailored workshop. The workshop was Co-located with the student and young professional (S&YP) Congress in Kenya (10-11 Nov. 2022). The aim of the workshop was to find out the challenges the chapters face and how the society can help in meeting those challenges and to also explore the opportunities that those chapters may have. Therefore, presentations were made by each chapter leader regarding the activities, challenges, and opportunities of each chapter.
The workshop’s program included an introductory talk by VP-Membership on IEEE and IES. It also highlighted the different mechanisms that IES has developed to help and support its members around the globe through Chapters and Students Branches.
Also, Prof. Marek Jasinski, the chair of IES Students and Young Professionals committee, has given a speech on IES support and activities for S&YP at our sponsored conferences. The participants also watched an interesting presentation by the current IEEE Kenya Section Chair, Ms Esther Muchiri, entitled “IEEE in Africa: Past, Present and Future”.
During the workshop each of the chapter leaders made a presentation on their chapter’s composition, chapters activities (workshops, seminars, collaboration with other chapters and industry interaction, rate of growth, … etc) in addition to the challenges they face.
Chapter Leaders who presented their chapters at the workshop in Kenya (nov 2022):
|Dr Habib Kammoun||Tunisia|
|Dr Hady Habib||Egypt (video conference)|
|Mr Olema Vincent||Uganda|
|Prof Kouzou Abdellah||Algeria|
|Mr Vincent Egessa||Kenya|
|Dr Amer R. Zerek||Libya|
In a subsequent part of the workshop, participants were divided into two groups. Each group carried out a SWOT analysis for the Chapters’ vision, growth, and roadmap activities for the next three years. Each group presented its findings to the audience. It was interesting to see during the finding’s discussion the common factors and similarity such as the volatility of undergraduate student membership and the challenge to participate in the society’s TC ‘s remotely, etc. Participants of the workshop expressed their appreciation of the exchange of information opportunity and the outreach demonstrated by our society. The friendship and fellowship developed through this workshop will undoubtedly leave its mark on the future consolidation of IES presence and activities in Africa. There is always a lead time between sowing the seed and harvesting the fruit!
The help of the Kenyan section leadership and the dedicated support and hospitality of the Congress organisers is greatly acknowledged. I also thank the chapter leaders for their significant contribution to this workshop and Prof Marek Jasinski for his help and support throughout this exercise.