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CMU-Africa holds its graduation.
CMU-Africa holds its graduation.
A group of CMU-Africa graduates
graduates holding dipolomas

Carnegie Mellon University in Africa Holds 11th Graduation Ceremony

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Peter Kerwin
University Communications & Marketing

Carnegie Mellon University in Africa recently graduated its 11th cohort of students from the Master of Science in Information Technology(opens in new window), Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering(opens in new window) and Master of Science in Engineering Artificial Intelligence(opens in new window) programs. The group represented 16 nationalities.

Since its inception in 2011, Carnegie Mellon Africa has been at the forefront of fostering innovation and technological advancement on the continent through its world-class education. This year's graduating class showcased a wide range of research projects that addressed critical issues in healthcare, agriculture and sustainable development.

The graduation ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries, including:

The keynote address was delivered by Amrote Abdella, general manager of Amazon Web Services Sub-Saharan Africa, who emphasized the importance of human-centric technology for Africa's development. 

"Embrace the power of information, harness the potential of AI, and never underestimate the impact you can make. But amidst the data-driven frenzy, don't forget the human element," he said. "For all its computational prowess, technology is nothing without empathy, without understanding the needs and aspirations of those it serves."

Minister Twagirayezu stressed the need for active participation in shaping the future of artificial intelligence, encouraging graduates to lead the way in technological innovation.

"As technologies like artificial intelligence dominate global conversations, we need to ensure that we are active participants in shaping that future," Twagirayezu said. "In fact, we believe that we should not only be part of the dialogue but also seize every opportunity to lead the way and stay ahead of the curve whenever we can."

James H. Garrett Jr.

James H. Garrett Jr. attends the 11th CMU-Africa graduation.

Garrett urged the graduating class to embrace courage and seize opportunities to make a difference in Africa's transformative journey.

"I would encourage you to keep finding ways to make a difference. As Africa undergoes a remarkable transformation, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and find chances to be a part of this monumental moment for the continent," he said.

Sanders commended the graduates for their outstanding research achievements, expressing optimism for a brighter future as their contributions impact Africa and the world.

"I am energized, because I know we are headed into a brighter tomorrow for Africa and the world, as the impact of your contributions travel," Sanders said.

Dean Bill Sanders speaks at the podium.

Bill Sanders speaks at the ceremony.

Speaking at the event, CMU-Africa Director Conrad Tucker highlighted the CMU-Africa commitment to educating and empowering tech leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who will drive Africa’s technological transformation. 

Conrad Tucker

Conrad Tucker

"And now, armed with the knowledge and skills you have acquired here, you are more than equipped to step into the world and make a difference," Tucker said. "You are not just CMU graduates; you are global citizens, poised to tackle the challenges that confront our planet with creative and innovative tech solutions."

Class valedictorian Chukwuemeka Nkama encouraged his fellow graduates to embrace the power of the present: "It is easy to be swept away by the currents of future anxieties or past regrets. But let us remember that all we have been and all we will be is dependent on the now. Our past and future potential all hinge on the present."

Among the graduates, several stood out for their exceptional contributions. Yamlak Bogale (MS EAI '24) received the Jeremiah Mpagazehe Rising Researcher Award for her exceptional leadership and scholarship through her research contributions. Hadiza Yussuf Umar (MS EAI '24), Rahman Mabano (MS ECE '24) and Akpene Diata Hogga (MS IT '24) were recipients of the Lakshmi Subramanian Student Excellence Award for inspiring their peers to a love of learning through a combination of intellect, high scholarly achievement, community engagement and character.

With each graduation, CMU-Africa strengthens its legacy of contributing to the global tech landscape. As the graduates of the Class of 2024 step into the future, they are poised to make a significant impact in their respective fields and beyond.

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