This week, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program awarded a $10.8 million grant to support advanced technology education in Rwanda over a seven-year period. The grant was announced during Monday’s graduation ceremony at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the capital city Kigali, as 24 students received master’s degrees in Information Technology and several branches of engineering..
Opened in 2012, the ICT CoE is part of the CMU’s drive to extend its global reach into Africa through partnership with the government of Rwanda. Since its inception, a total of 70 students from Kenya, Uganda, the United States, and of course, Rwanda have graduated from the Centre.
The grant from MasterCard is expected to fund the education of 125 academically gifted but indigent students from sub-Saharan Africa beginning this year and ending in 2023.
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By partnering with MasterCard and the Scholars Program, Carnegie Mellon joins a network of 23 other educational institutions globally. Beneficiaries of the scholarship are expected to use the skills and knowledge they acquire to effect positively changes in the lives of their community. Speaking during the graduation ceremony, MasterCard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy remarked:
“We are excited to partner with Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda, an exceptional institution committed to training the next generation of African engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to meet pressing global challenges. Investment in STEM education is pivotal to Africa’s future and will ensure that African nations have the opportunity to identify, develop, and deploy their wealth of talent.”
As a complete extension of the the Pennsylvania-based Carnegie Mellon University system, the ICT Center of Excellence employs a full faculty and staff to administer its two academic programs: the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) and the Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS ECE).