SPARC Systems wins 2 gongs at ICTAM innovations awards gala

Malawi’s information and communications and technology (ICT) company, SPARC Systems Limited on Thursday night walked away from the Information & Communication Technology Association of Malawi (ICTAM) Innovations Award Gala with two accolades, Hardware & Networking and Best ICT firm for 2019.

A proud Wisely Phiri
Mikeka (left) with Botomani and family members at the awards Gala

The award for Banking and Finance went to National Bank of Malawi Plc; for Insurance to United General Insurance and for Internet Service Provider to Skyband Limited.

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) were voted as best Public Service Delivery; Angle Dimension received Startup of the Year while the award for Life Time Achiever went to Associate Professor Chomora Mikeka.

SPARC Systems Limited operates offices in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda and its group managing director and founder, Wisely Phiri applauded his staff for their high integrity in doing business.

“We have always worked to give the best services to our customers across Africa. With SPARC, customers can be assured of getting global-level services from engineers that are locally available.

“The awards means a lot to us and motivates us to work even more to bring more innovations in the years. Our customers should expect more innovations.”

According his resume, Associate Professor Mikeka, holds a PhD from the Division of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering at Yokohama National University, Japan.

His research was about power autonomous sensor radio based on cellular and digital TV RF energy harvesting. He has vast experience on research in ICT for business, agriculture, health and education.

He is an inventor and holds a Malawi patent number MW/P/2015/00003 on a multi-functional antenna that is able to receive a wide spectrum of signals for DTV, TVWS Internet and DTT services.

He has collaborated in the design, simulations and fabrication of an ultra-low power DC-DC buck boost converter with regulated output for less than a milliwatt RF energy harvesting used in modern day communications devices in energy-aware technology fashion.

This was done with colleagues from the Centre Tecnològic Telecomunicacions Catalunya, in Spain. He has held a Lecturer position at the Graduate School of Information Technology (Kobe Institute of Computing), training 30 African participants on Problem Resolution for Development Issues and Politics using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) *(J11-30012 )* (a JICA funded project).

Professor Mikeka is the founding director for the e-Communications Research Group (eCRG), consulting on seven specific research and consultancy areas such as Software Development, Antenna and RF Engineering, Broadband Internet, Internet of Things (IoT), Energy-Aware Systems, Spectrum Use Audit and Baseline Surveys.

His world class outstanding work has been on TV White Spaces (TVWS) Technology for Broadband Rural-Connect and business transact infrastructure (e-business platform) in Malawi, which has resulted in the drafting of regulations by MACRA to open new business for the technology in Malawi from 2019 onwards.

In 2013, eCRG became the Center of Excellence in the country on ICT as awarded by the National Commission of Science and Technology in conjuction with the E-Government (Malawi).

Professor Mikeka has several other Awards including the 2009 European Microwave Association Student Challenge Prize in Rome (Italy); the 2011 IEEE RWW, Biomedical Radio and Wireless Technologies, Network and Sensing Systems Second Best Paper Award in Phoenix, Arizona (USA).

He won the IEEE RFID-TA 2011, Third Best Paper Award in Sitges, Barcelona (Spain); the 2010 Yokohama National University International Science Exchange Encouragement Award in Yokohama (Japan) and was the 2014 – 2019 Junior Associate of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy.

His biography is included in the 27th edition of Marquis Who’s Who in the World; he is the Laureate of IBC TOP 100 ENGINEERS in 2010, he is a Senior Fellow of the 1930 Physics Nobel Laureate (CV Raman).

He is a visiting professor and external examiner at the University of Johannesburg, University of Rwanda, Moi University, Malawi University of Science and Technology and Mzuzu University as of July 2019.

He is an elected member, until 2024, of the Kenjin-Tatsujin (KT) International Advisory Council for the “Ashinaga Africa Initiative” headquartered in Tokyo, Japan to support Japanese scholarship for the gifted but disadvantaged African youth, particularly those orphaned in one or both parents.

The gala was graced by Minister of Information, Civic Education and Information Technology Mark Botomani, who applauded ICTAM for the initiative of awarding and recognizing players in the (ICT) industry.

“We are living in the digital age where citizens can study degree programmes, even postgraduate degrees, online.

“A good example is Chancellor College, where universities in India run online programmes. A professor teaching in India reaches out to hundreds of students in several countries via online video links.

“Farmers can access markets for their produce online. Expectant women can get health advisory services without going in person to various hospitals. We all get weather updates on our mobile stations and we plan our days accordingly,” Botomani said.

He added that the government has put in place appropriate framework to support ICT and accelerate various national and sector initiatives and interventions at all levels of society.

He said his Ministry is committed to ensure that Malawi realizes its digital economy potential as enshrined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III.

“Government is implementing the national ICT policy as a tool to facilitate an efficient, effective, and sustainable utilization, exploitation, and development of ICTs in all sectors of the economy in order to attain an information-rich and knowledge-based society and economy.

“It is therefore pleasing to note that players in the industry are taking advantage of the national ICT policy to enhance service delivery in various sectors of insurance, banking, technology and public service players to celebrate the strides in technology and innovation,” he said.

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2 years ago

Professor consider visiting secondary and primary schools to inspire young malawians. Yours is such an encouraging and amazing story

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