Carnegie Mellon University to open its Kigali campus

President Paul KAGAME of Rwanda speaking at CMU (Sep 2011)

The US-based Carnegie Mellon University will open its Kigali campus later this year (2012), for a new graduate program in East Africa. The university believes that Africa is a country with excellent prospects of becoming an information-based economy.

Carnegie Mellon University will offer courses including postgraduate degrees in information technology, with plans to expand to electrical and computer engineering within the next few years.

The Rwandan government will be paying for the campus, which it hopes will promote a surge in an economy still trying to recover from the 1994 genocide. According to sources, the US University’s financial contribution is zero.

The Rwandan government and Carnegie Mellon University have been developing the scheme for the past three years. Rwanda hopes to expand the place of information technology within their economy by 2020 — making more opportunities for higher education in relevant fields imperative if they are going to avoid an eventual skill shortage.

The campus is reported to include research incubators, training for executives and a mobile research centre. The campus will receive approximately 40 students in its first semester.

On an official tour in the US (Sept 2011) Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda visited the Carnegie Mellon University. In his discussions with university officials, President Kagame highlighted Rwanda’s role as East Africa’s leading information and communications technology (ICT) nation. He also discussed the collaborative role that a partnership with Carnegie Mellon will play in realizing this vision.

 

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