CMU First Beneficiary of SMART Africa Scholarship-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University

CMU First Beneficiary of SMART Africa Scholarship

SMART Africa Launches Fund to Develop Tech Leaders: CMU-R 1st Beneficiary

KIGALI—During the Transform Africa Summit, which hosted over 2500 delegates from 81 countries, the SMART Africa Scholarship Fund was officially launched to support African students pursuing degrees and certifications at recognized centers of excellence throughout Africa that focus on information and communication technology (ICT). 

smart africa recipients

The fund awarded its first scholarships to seven students pursuing their master’s degrees at Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda (CMU-R). The fund was adopted as a flagship initiative of the SMART Africa Alliance in 2013 to address the critical need to build skills in the ICT sector to realize sustainable economic development in Africa. The CMU-R students from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania (pictured right) will be able to complete their master’s degree programs in Information Technology, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, with support from the SMART Africa Scholarship Fund. 

Initial support for the fund came from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), as well as the governments of Gabon, Rwanda and South Sudan, with total contributions of $800,000 USD. During the summit, other governments of the SMART Africa Alliance from Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Kenya also pledged support for the fund. On the last day of the summit, H.E. Paul Kagame President of Republic of Rwanda, affirmed the vision of the SMART Africa Alliance “to unleash the energy and unexploited talent we know exists on our continent.”

Established in 2011 in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, Carnegie Mellon University’s program in Kigali is part of a Regional Center of Excellence in ICT. Carnegie Mellon’s strategic vision is to boost the ICT skills capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa by nurturing highly-qualified engineers and preparing Africa’s next generation of technology leaders and innovators. While its current study body is primarily East African, the SMART Africa Scholarship Fund will enable all Africans to access world-class education from one of the top engineering universities in the world. The establishment of the fund complements the efforts of the Government of Rwanda and Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering to make CMU-R’s programs more accessible to Africa's brightest young minds, equipping them with the knowledge and experience to significantly contribute to Africa's economic and technological transformation. 

About Carnegie Mellon University

Since its founding in 1900, CMU has been a birthplace of innovation. CMU is a global leader bringing groundbreaking ideas to market and creating successful startup businesses. Ranked #1 in Computer Science and #4 in Engineering by U.S. News & World Report, and home to 19 Nobel Laureates, CMU is dedicated to producing creative and technically strong engineers that have meaningful impact in their communities and accelerate positive change in the world. CMU is among the most globally diverse universities, with programs all of the world in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, Qatar, Japan, China, Australia, and Rwanda.

About SMART Africa Alliance

The Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda on 28th-31st October 2013 culminated in the adoption of the Smart Africa Manifesto. Seven African Heads of States committed to jointly accelerate socio-economic development through ICTs nationally and on the continent level. The SMART Africa Alliance was setup to provide a framework for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SMART Africa Manifesto.

At the second sitting of the SMART Africa Board meeting on 21 October 2015, former ITU Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, was appointed as the founding Executive Director of the SMART Africa Secretariat based in Kigali.

Related Links:

Smart Africa Scholarship Fund Announcement by Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT, Rwanda

Innovators Forward Fellowship Fund

SMART Africa