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Prestigious US Research University Opens Rwanda Campus

Carnegie Mellon University says it is excited to explore information technologies with Rwandan students at first African campus.

The Kigali skyline shown here in September, 2011. The US university Carnegie Mellon will open its first African campus in Kigali in August, 2012.
The Kigali skyline shown here in September, 2011. The US university Carnegie Mellon will open its first African campus in Kigali in August, 2012.

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Ricci Shryock

This fall, students in Rwanda will begin classes at Carnegie Mellon University’s Kigali campus when the U.S. research university opens its new graduate program in the East African country.

Bruce Krogh, Director of Carnegie Mellon in Rwanda, said the Master of Science in Information Technology graduate program is a perfect fit for the Rwandan government’s 2020 vision to become an information economy – and he added Africa as a whole is ripe with opportunity in the mobile communications arena for cloud computing, broadband and more.

“We see this as an opportunity to participate in probably the fastest growing component of the market for information and communication technology in the world right now.”

Krogh added the program will include a research incubator, executive training and a mobile research center that will focus on developing technologies that serve the Rwandan market.

“This is one of the things that excites me the most about the program.….by opening a campus in Rwanda we are going to have a whole cadre of students that are focused entirely on that environment and on the needs in that part of the country.”

Carnegie Mellon has been working with the Rwandan government for three years to develop the program. Despite international criticism of the Rwandan government’s clampdown on free speech, Krogh said the university will be able to work as it does in the United States.

“And a critical component of the contract and the agreement that we have with the government is that our operation is going to enjoy all of the freedoms of intellectual pursuit and also control of admission and everything else that we have at all of our campuses.”

The university will offer a master of science in information technology beginning this August and plans to offer a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering within two years. Krogh said they have planned for 40 students in the first semester.

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