Forty Rwandan computer and telecommunication engineers this week started a four-day fibre optics training, expected to equip them with the necessary skills on fibre optics, basic practical hands-on experience on fusion splicing and the operation of best equipment.
The workshop was jointly organized by the United Kingdom Telecommunications Academy (UKTA), Kigali Institute of Science of Science and technology (KIST) and the Cable Communications Training Services (CTTS).
While opening the workshop, the Minister of ICT in the President’s Office, Dr. Ignace Gatare, said that the training was intended to build a critical mass of technicians who will play a key role in implementing cost-effective ICT programmes in the country. He pointed out that backbone networks are increasingly relying on fibre-optic which will also expand the last mile access networks.
The chairman of UKTA, Prof. David Mellor, said the training would impart the necessary technical skills among the trainees.
Prof. Mellor is part of a team of visiting professors who conduct two Masters’ courses at KIST; the Master of Communications Management (MCM) and the Master of Science in Operational Communications (MOC). KIST offers the training in conjunction with UKTA.
The Government recently imported from the UK equipment for fibre splicing practical exercises valued at US$120,000.
Prof. Mellor urged KIST to set up at least one laboratory with the equipment to facilitate students undertaking the Master of Science in Operational Communications since fibre splicing practical exercises were mandatory for all students undertaking the course.
The Rector of KIST, Prof. Abraham Atta Ogwu, confirmed that KIST was working closely with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) to set up a one-stop telecommunications centre that would offer open fibre optics training. He said that KIST as an International Communication Union (ITU) centre of excellence network for Africa, received considerable support from the ITU and the UKTA.
Participants will be given practical lessons on fibre optics stripping tools and techniques, cleaving bare fibres as well installation and maintenance. The training will cover practical testing exercises and troubleshooting.