Carnegie Mellon University hones ICT innovation potentials in Rwanda and beyond

By Philbert Girinema
On 22 août 2018 at 12:30

Carnegie Mellon University is among the top universities training students in technology, empowering the next generation of leaders and innovators by delivering a world-class educational experience.

The Varsity’s presence in Rwanda offers a platform where people can engage in Africa’s most significant opportunities and challenges through education and contextually-relevant research.

CMU-Africa is currently hosted at Telecom House but is set to relocate soon to a Rwf9 billion newly constructed campus located in the government newly designed Innovation City, in Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ).

The University launched its operations in 2012, with the aim of training more than 400 students within five years, but has so far graduated 145.

The Chief Operating Officer at Rwanda Development Board, Emmanuel Hategeka, in October 2017, told Parliament that there had been slight complications in joining the campus with the University of Rwanda.

According to the Auditor General’s 2016/17 report, Rwanda invested $43 Million, approximately Rwf36 Billion.

As for the 2016/17 Nation Budget, the Government attributed Rwf7 Million for the construction of Carnegie Mellon’s new campus located in the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), in a bid to enhance better education for students.

Speaking with IGIHE, Rwanda’s Minister for Information Technology and Communications, Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa lauded the university’s campus presence in Rwanda, and said it presented opportunities for Africans.

Rwanda is currently the only African country hosting the branch of Carnegie Mellon University.

“The University enrolls students from over 20 countries across the African continent. The knowledge there is of great advantage as the campus offers an American-worthy Education,” Rurangirwa observed.

“With the campus in Rwanda, the country benefits a lot because it develops a great relationship with the students hosted and you will find that most of these students decide to stay in Rwanda when they complete their studies,” he added.

“Other benefits involve being united as Africa ; we gain new brains that are in search of a place where they can develop their potential,” Rurangirwa said.

In May 2017, the university signed agreements with Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) aiming to cooperate in the making of devices for e-tax payment, and finding other kinds of online methods of tax payment.

The new CMU-Africa campus is being constructed in a place designated by the government as the Kigali Innovation City, a future hub aimed at leveling up the country’s digital transformation.

Africans studying in Rwanda’s CMU-Africa campus pay a fee of $16,000, an estimation of Rwf13 Million per year. As for East-African students, they receive a discount of 50% from the fee.

Born out of a partnership between CMU and the Government of Rwanda, CMU-Africa is addressing the critical shortage of high quality engineering talent required to accelerate development in Africa—home to the fastest growing workforce in the world.