In August 2020, I finished my PhD studies in Information and Communication Sciences and Engineering at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology with the research title “Data Driven Approach for Predicting Student Dropout in Secondary Schools”. Many people have walked with me in this adventure and they surely deserve my greatest gratitude.
First, I would like to thank the almighty God for being my greatest help in times of need and a strong tower to turn to. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge the African Development Bank (AfDB) for sponsoring my studies. My sincere gratitude also goes to my supervisors, Dr Khamisi Kalegele and Dr Dina Machuve for their excellent guidance, patience and support.
I offer my sincerest appreciation to my mentor, the founding Vice Chancellor of the NM-AIST, Prof Burton Mwamila for his wisdom and encouragement. I’m also very grateful for my family, Rev and Mrs Mathias Mdumah, and the family of Eng Simon Sumari for their unconditional love and support during my entire educational journey.
Lastly I would like to appreciate the support from my employer (NM-AIST), the government of United Republic of Tanzania, Data for Local Impact (DLi), Eagle Analytics, Data Science Africa (DSA), Black in Artificial Intelligence (BAI), Deep Learning Indaba (DLI), Women in Machine Learning (WiML), colleagues and friends for the love and support. May God bless you abundantly.
Neema Mduma, PhD