The African Center of Excellence in Internet of Things (ACEIoT), is one of four African Centers that were set up at University of Rwanda in 2017, under the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II) financed by the World Bank to establish and strengthen specialization and collaboration in the region. According to Dr. Damien Hanyurwimfura, the Acting Director of the Centre, ACEIoT aims at fashioning positive future, coach and train a pool of African researchers, academics, professors in the field of Internet of Things (IoT). This is expected to advance and install innovative IoT-enabled services, to offer solutions to growth challenges all over East and South African, in the highest precedence fields. He said that these fields include; health, education, water, transport, energy, communications, especially in packaging design, mobile app development, data science, industrial, and product design. IoT is a system that consists of computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the aptitude to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Hanyurwimfura, who is also the head of PhD Studies and Research at the Centre, expounded that the health sector is one of those that will be upgraded. “For instance, this technology makes things expedient for doctors, support staff and the patients,” he said, adding that such technology, once rolled out, will help doctors consult patients without necessarily being in the same room. This is made possible by using wearable sensors. Someone can even fit in their car a GPS system to ease functions like navigation and IoT will keep them appraised with traffic conditions and congestion on the road ahead, he pointed out. According to Hanyurwimfura, the Centre will help a number of African scientists and engineers in IoT through higher education and research, but also, set up an IoT living lab in Rwanda for open innovation and co-creation of IoT for Development. ACEIoT also aims to, advance syllabuses to promote innovative research in the field of IoT. The Centre also focuses on providing inventive, fair and supportable analysis, which would exceed as the pivot for regional and international research partnerships. The centre also avails a medium for researchers, to share ideas and results on IoT applications. The Center offers programs such as Master’s degree which consist of programs like, Wireless Intelligent Sensors Networking (WISeNet), Embedded Computing Systems (ECS) and Robotic Sensor Networks (RoSeNet) for a planned period of two years, full time. ACEIoT PhD Programs focus on areas, such as; Wireless Sensor Networking (WSN), Embedded Computing Systems (ECS) and the mode of PhD is by research and it is full time, for four years. ACEIoT offers short courses like Rapid Prototyping for Internet of Things, Blockchain Fundamentals and Applications, Critical Assessment of Drone Imaging for Internet of Things (Signals, Sensors, and Systems), and LORA Technologies and other short courses will be delivered. The ACEIoT is built on academic and industrial partnerships, for smooth running in teaching, supervision and short course delivery. The Centre has both full and partial scholarships for both local and international students. This involves transport, living allowances, research, and tuition. Students have all the necessary resources needed for research. For example, the fully equipped library, free internet, among others, Hanyurwimfura said. At the end of the project, students who took the programme are expected to be equipped with entrepreneurship skills that will be a strong tool to guide them in starting their own businesses. “Some of the challenges the Centre is facing are, using international lecturers, as at times, they can’t make it in time to class,” But this is being addressed by training local lecturers in delivering the module in the future using co teaching system where the international lecturer co-teaches with local lecturer who take the module when it will delivered next time. “This, in the end, affects students. We believe that after graduation, some of these students could start tutoring and lecturing,” Hanyurwimfura emphasized. Gender balance is yet to be achieved at the Centre. To address this the University, is hoping to start carrying out community outreach, to encourage more females to apply for IoT courses. This could also be possible, by offering them scholarships. STUDENTS VIEWS According to Marie Grace Mujawamariya, a Master’s Degree student in IoT at the Center, IoT as a trending technology transforming the way both humans and organizations work. “Things are becoming more intelligent and services are made smarter. As a lady and a pioneer in IoT field, it is such an amazing achievement that nobody thought I could be, myself inclusive,” “Pursuing my Master’s degree in IoT was motivated by the fact I always wanted to be part of the team that develops and participates in designing and implementing technology projects, to help Africa towards its main goal in technology and engineering,” she explained. Additionally, Mujawamariya noted that thrilling technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Data science are on high demand as they are businesses, industrial and academics oriented. She encouraged ladies not to be afraid of technology or engineering courses and professions, because ‘anything a man can do, a lady can do it’. “As Rwandans, we are even very lucky with our supportive government. We should profit and benefit from this advantage. We ought to believe in ourselves because we are talented and valuable. Most importantly, we should just find some balance between our professions, families and house chores,” Mujawamariya urged. For Deny-Beny, Kamuhanda, another Master’s Degree student in IoT , students in such a course are expected to use the skills equipped with, to change the lives of the communities, through the implementation of projects, using technology, in various sectors. As students, he said that they are expected to improve the existing systems to improve efficiency as well as find solutions. “This is a field that will create new ideas to facilitate the lives of citizens. Such field can put an end to dependence of cash in the economy thus saving the government expenditure on printing cash. IoT can drive solutions aimed at enabling citizens make transactions, without holding any cash, or worrying about theft,” Kamuhanda said.