Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda Students Develop Agriculture Platform for Thomson Reuters-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda Students Develop Agriculture Platform for Thomson Reuters

Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda Students Develop Agriculture Platform for Thomson Reuters

This summer, Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda students undertook internships with different companies located in Rwanda and Kenya. A group of three Master of Science in Information Technology students–Davy Uwizera, Samuel Nzaramba and Aline Umubyeyi Gasana–had a three-month internship with the TR Innovation Lab of Thomson Reuters, a leading financial services consultancy. The three worked on developing a data analytics pilot plan for Bankable Farmer in Rwanda, a project that will be implemented in five other African countries.

The students were part of a Thomson Reuters in-country team that was spread across Africa. They were tasked with the development of an agri-business value chain platform with a pan-African vision which aimed to leverage data analytics and provide data-driven decision-making tools to Thomson Reuter’s clientele.

Team leader Davy Uwizera, who has a master’s degree in statistics and economics, possesses data analytics experience from working in the insurance, finance and health industries, where he developed fraud detection algorithms. As team leader, Uwizera identified project delivery as the most critical challenge.

“For me, the most important aspect of this experience was leading a group of my student colleagues and successfully carrying out all the required tasks in spite of the many challenges that were present for such a big project, and to do so without onsite supervision or the presence of the hiring company,” says Uwizera.

Aline Umubyeyi Gasana, who handled client relations and communications on the project, has a bachelor’s of science degree in IT and worked as an application security engineer focusing on cybersecurity and application security at the Ministry of Defense in Rwanda.  Gasana is pursuing a master’s of science in information technology at CMU-R with a cybersecurity and data analytics concentration.

“I am very proud of having taken part in the development of a platform that required collaboration from teams in five different countries,” says Gasana.

Managing the risk algorithm flow design and data accuracy verification was Samuel Nzaramba, who previously worked at Ernst and Young with a supervisory role managing data collection and validation. Nzaramba is concentrating in data science and information security, and he found that focusing on data for this project provided him with the opportunity to apply machine learning and data analytics techniques from his spring semester classes. He strongly believes this experience will be beneficial to the client and applicable to other countries.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our internship engagement with CMU,” says Thomson Reuters’ Senior Vice President of Innovation Saidah Nash Carter. “Not only were the students proactive, thoughtful and diligent, but they were also a pleasure to work with.  We received solid results that have made a meaningful contribution to the development of our Bankable Farmer initiative in Rwanda."