Muthoni Masinde is a Professor of Computer Science and an entrepreneur in information technology. As well as working as an Associate Professor and the Head of the IT Department at the Central University of Technology, Free State (South Africa), she is the Founder and CEO of ITIKI - acronym for Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge with Intelligence. ITIKI is a drought prediction tool that taps into the rich African indigenous knowledge on natural disasters and augments it with Wireless Sensor Networks, artificial intelligence and Mobile phones. ITIKI is impacting and changing lives among small-scale farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. Given the overwhelming burden of droughts on Africa’s small-scale farmers which in turn leads to food insecurity, all her current work focuses on this most vulnerable group. Muthoni holds a BSC, an MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, and the University of Cape Town, South Africa, respectively. She has also recently attained an MBA from the University of the Free State (South Africa) in order to enhance her skills in running ITIKI as a business. She has over 20 years’ experience in computing that spans both the academic and industry spheres. Muthoni has published widely and supervised masters and doctoral students. Besides, the applied nature of her research has attracted significant social innovation funding and international recognition.
Adeyinka Akanbi is a researcher and an IT expert working on the integration of modern approaches with local indigenous knowledge on drought for accurate drought prediction and forecasting in the environmental monitoring domain. Adeyinka completed his Ph.D. at the Central University of Technology, Free State (South Africa), received his Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (India), and completed his undergraduate studies at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso (Nigeria). His research interests lie in the area of Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data Analytics, Semantic technologies, ranging from design to implementation. Much of his work has been on semantic representation and integration of heterogeneous knowledge bases to improve interoperability, mainly through the application of knowledge representation and event processing techniques.
Omolola M. Adeola (Adisa) is a post-doctoral fellow at the Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa, working on the development of a drought visualization tool relevant for small scale farmers. Omolola holds a BSC degree in Geography from the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State Nigeria, an MSc in Geographical Information System from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria and PhD in Geoinformatics from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her area of interest includes; drought prediction models, local indigenous knowledge of drought, development of a near real-time communication and a visualization tool for drought.
Ayanda Dube is a research assistant working with ITIKI. She completed her undergraduate and honors degrees in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and currently a Masters student in Food Security at the same university. Ayanda works closely with the farmers and the ITIKI ambassadors utilising the ITIKI mobile application to capture agricultural practices and current environmental factors affecting their farms for future prediction on seasonal production, harvest and market values.
Mario Adoons is a research assistant with ITIKI. He specializes in mobile application development using progressive systems and applications. Much of his work is based on creating applications that give correct information for farmers using both information technology components and indigenous knowledge.
Mr Ngoci is a social worker and an indigenous weather forecaster.
He undertook a diploma in social work and community development, currently the ITIKI Kenya project manager. He works closely with farmers and the ITIKI ambassadors utilising the ITIKI mobile application to capture indicators that enable ITIKI to give a forecast to farmers. This enables them to increase their production and livelihoods.
Mr Filipe Sitole is a farmer in Espugabera, Manica Province, Mozambique. He is the current ITIKI country project manager for Mozambique. He works closely with other farmers and the ITIKI ambassadors.