USA - President Paul Kagame, who is on a working visit to the United States, will this evening give an address at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, USA.
The speech will follow a ceremony to mark the official launch of a partnership that will see the establishment of a CMU campus in Kigali.
Carnegie Mellon University will extend its global academic footprint as the first major higher education institution in the U.S. to offer graduate engineering degree programs in Rwanda.
According to the University, Rwanda has proved to be a tech-savvy country with ambitions of building a knowledge-based economy and the partnership will be aimed at boosting this vision.
“Carnegie Mellon will establish and operate an academic program in Kigali, Rwanda, initially offering a Master of Science in Information Technology program,” the US University announced.
“In addition to the academic program, Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda will collaborate with the Government of Rwanda to develop an innovation incubator, advanced practical training programs, executive education programs and a mobility research centre.
President Kagame and Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon will formally acknowledge the partnership with a ceremonial signing this evening in Rangos Ballroom in CMU's University Centre.
Following the signing, Kagame will give a keynote address about Rwanda's role as East Africa's leading information and technology hub and the new collaborative relationship with Carnegie Mellon.
“Higher education is a key to success in the global economy. We are pleased to bring our expertise in mounting international programs and our culture of innovation to Rwanda and to contribute to the country's emergence as a regional technology hub,” Cohon said.
According to the Minister of Education Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, the partnership will go a long way in fostering the country’s vision to promote science education and also the country’s ambition to become a regional ICT Hub.
“We selected CMU because its great academic and research reputation fits nicely with Rwanda's vision of becoming an information and communications technology-led economy,”
“It completely in line with our goal of training a critical mass of IT professionals with an innovative and entrepreneurship mind,” said Minister Habumuremyi.
In 2007, Rwanda was named East Africa's leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) nation by the United Nations and has continued to spearhead ICT development in the region.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to help a young nation grow and to impart some of the successful educational and research processes so critical to the continued viability of global research institutions like CMU,” said Pradeep K. Khosla, the Dowd University Professor and head of CMU's College of Engineering.
“Our objective is to enrol approximately 40 students for the initial fall 2012 class, growing to about 150 by 2017,” Khosla added.
The Carnegie Mellon Rwanda program will be directed by Bruce H. Krogh, professor of electrical and computer engineering at CMU.
Michel Bezy, a distinguished service professor in CMU's Department of Engineering and Public Policy, will be the program's associate director.
Students at the Carnegie Mellon Rwanda program will meet the same strict admission standards used at the university's main campus in Pittsburgh.
While the new Carnegie Mellon Rwanda program is open to students worldwide, the program will primarily target students from the East African community with admission preference given to Rwandan citizens.
Students also will participate in internships with enterprises and companies in Rwanda or neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, as part of his working visit, President Kagame will over the weekend chair the 9th meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council in New York.
The Head of State will also participate in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that begins next week and is scheduled to address the Assembly on Wednesday.
President Kagame is also expected to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative that takes place every year alongside the UNGA, and will speak at the forum on Thursday.
In 2009, President Kagame received the Clinton Global Citizen Award in recognition of his leadership in public service.