KU student to visit US after win in Cisco computer contest

Tuesday January 2 2018

Charles Mutua

Charles Mutua, a Kenyatta University student who emerged the second best in Africa in Netriders, a computing challenge by American computer accessories company Cisco. He will travel to the United States on Saturday for a five day study tour. PHOTO | PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PIUS MAUNDU
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A Kenyatta University student who has put Kenya on the continental map in a global computer networking challenge will fly the country’s flag in a five-day study trip to the United States which will start this Saturday.

Charles Mutua, 23, a Bsc Computer Science and Physics finalist, emerged the first runners-up among African entrants in a networking competition by American computer accessories company Cisco.

An information technology expert from Morocco, Hamza Jebbour, emerged the best among 20 entrants drawn from African countries in the 2017 edition of the yearly competition dubbed Netriders.

VISIT US

Mr David Brunei, the Cisco manager in charge of the East Africa market, has confirmed that they will fly the two and the other ten finalists who are drawn from across the world to the United States “to learn from the best technology companies in the world”.

“The two competed with over 15,400 entrants globally to win a study trip prize to Cisco headquarters in San Jose, United States,” Mr Brunei said.

The finalists will also visit the Stanford University, the headquarters of Google and Facebook.

Cisco has made all travel and accommodation arrangements already, Mr Brunei confirmed.

During an exclusive interview with Nation at their home in Wote, Makueni County on Monday, Mr Mutua was upbeat about the weekend trip.

FIRST TIME

“This is the first time that I’ll be travelling out of the country and this partly explains the excitement,” said the second born in a family of three who was flanked by his mother, Ms Florence Nzioka.

“We expect to meet and interact with high level engineers of the various technology giants who will share about their daily experiences interacting with networking devices, developing and implementing new networking solutions,” said Mr Mutua.

The three-phase competition entailed designing and configuring a computer network in a real life situation and remotely presenting the work in a panel of industry players through teleconferencing.

Mr Mutua hopes that the exposure will help him refine his career path as he prepares to enter the job world.