Carnegie Mellon in Rwanda graduates technology leaders


June 24, 2015

Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda (CMU-R) celebrated its second graduation of technology innovators on June 22 at a ceremony at the Serena Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. The 21 men and women of the Class of 2015 received master's degrees in Information Technology (IT).

CMU-R is fostering the commercialization of information and communication technology in the world's fastest growing economic region. More than 70% of the Class of 2015 has secured employment while other students may join fellow alumni in creating startup ventures.

Distinguished guests at the graduation included the Honorable Professor Lwakabamba, Rwandan Minister of Education; Dr. Bruce Krogh, Director of Carnegie Mellon in Rwanda; Dean James Garrett, Dean of Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering; Dr. Jared L Cohon, President Emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University.

The graduation underscores Carnegie Mellon University and the Government of Rwanda's commitment to educating engineers and entrepreneurs who are striving to make an economic impact in Africa. All alumni from the Class of 2014 now have technical careers in East Africa and continue to play a part in ushering the region's economic and social growth into the future.

Motivated to elevate global intellectual and economic vitality, Carnegie Mellon University became the first U.S. university to offer a master's degree program taught by full-time faculty resident in Africa. 

"Being present in Africa is the only way to understand technology needs on the continent," said Bruce Krogh, the director of CMU-R. "Creating a long-term education program is critical, because it gives students time to analyze problems and develop solutions in the context in which they occur."

Carnegie Mellon students in Rwanda receive a world-class education enriched by the institution's history and tradition of excellence that began in the United States in 1900. Rigorous coursework, practicums and internships provide students with the critical skills valued by industry throughout Africa. In addition, our curriculum includes courses on a wide range of business topics and soft skills giving our graduates the confidence to launch their own ventures.

To ensure that Carnegie Mellon University's research and curriculum in Rwanda remain relevant to Africa, the faculty and students engage with local companies and multinational corporations on a continual basis. Companies that have recruited Carnegie Mellon students for internships in East Africa include General Electric, IBM, Microsoft and VISA.

At CMU, African students remain steeped in the region's rapidly evolving technical and business networks. Beyond the advantage of staying local in terms of professional development, studies in Rwanda enhance our students learning experience. Our top students are funded to study for a semester in Pittsburgh and our alumni highlight the communal study experience in Kigali as a major advantage for their learning, as compared with studies in the USA.

In Africa, Carnegie Mellon University offers two graduate degree programs: the M.S. in Information Technology, and the M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Faculty research areas include energy systems and IT for healthcare and business.  

Story originally published here.