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Graduates to be catalysts for Rwanda’s and Africa’s socioeconomic transformation

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The world needs science and technology more than ever. With all the challenges we’re facing today from pandemics, climate change, food security, poverty, pollution, and water scarcity problems the Minister of Education Dr. Valentine Uwamariya believes CMU graduates are critical catalysts for Rwanda’s and Africa’s socioeconomic transformation.

Amidst the joyous 10th graduation ceremony of Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU Africa), a splendid gathering of young individuals representing 19 different countries united to receive a remarkable honor that would accompany them throughout their lives. The Class of 2023 proudly claimed the title of the largest graduating class ever, with an impressive count of 158 graduates.

Notably, 61% of these accomplished individuals hailed from Rwanda, showcasing the incredible success of CMU Africa’s influence within the region. The student body demonstrated commendable gender inclusion, with women making up 28% of the students, exemplifying the inclusive and empowering environment fostered by the university.

Today, we will be triggering actions by giving youth inspiration from the CMU Africa 10th Graduation Ceremony where numerous African stories about young students will be shared

The graduates from today’s ceremony are joining the many talented graduates from CMU Africa that are already emerging as leaders and exchange makers within the continent and beyond.

These young people are driven to provide solutions to Africa’s problems and are relentless. They were graduating with a Master of Science Information Technology, a Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering, a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering – Advanced Study, and a Master in Engineering Artificial Intelligence.

The Minister of Education said that the value of CMU Africa and its contribution towards Rwanda’s journey to becoming a technology-driven knowledge-based economy cannot be overlooked.

She said, “High-quality engineering education by CMU Africa is a critical catalyst for Rwandas and Africa’s socioeconomic transformation.”

She commended the graduates to “Stay true to who you are, understand your goals, and work tirelessly to achieve this. The future is yours and you are our future as a country and continent.”

As African youth, we have a duty to persevere and impact our communities, countries, and continent

These brilliant minds were encouraged by Dr. Bill Sanders the Dean of the College of Engineering at CMU Africa to be present in the rooms and at the tables where important decisions are made on this continent.

He said, “Your thoughts, decisions, and actions will matter a great deal. I hope each of you recognizes your potential to serve as intellectual and technology leaders for the 21st century.”

Noting that the class of 2023, has learned to think critically, analytically, and coherently. Emphasizing that they are to design creative solutions to difficult problems.

He said, “You have learned to be unafraid to ask questions and to deal with ambiguity. The moment has finally arrived when it is time to venture forth. If your dream is big, you will need help along the way.”

The importance of graduate education in building nations in Africa is significant

Currently, Africa is dealing with several challenges, including pandemics, climate change, food security, poverty, pollution, and water scarcity among others.

These problems need critical and creative minds who are able to solve them using new approaches and innovation that the continent needs.

As a keynote speaker, Dr. Solomon Asefa, the vice president at IBM Research evoked that Talent that’s able to further develop artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and multi-cloud, to help a new era of accelerated scientific discovery.

He explained that for all of that to happen, Africa needs brilliant minds to collaborate and lead us into the future.

He said, “This hope for Africa is not far-fetched. Africa is richer now than ever because of its hundreds of millions of talented young people who are poised to make scientific breakthroughs and develop technological technologies and services, not only for Africa but for the whole world.”

“The years spent at MIT taught me to mend a skill of knowledge and character to push the frontier without being afraid to fail but knowing I have tried.”

A Mastercard Foundation Scholar, Mohammed Omer from Sudan graduated with a Master of Science in Engineering, Artificial Intelligence said his hope is to inspire the new wave of digital transformation in Africa.

He said, “I would love to see a transformed workforce in Africa. I would like to see the youth of this continent be able to capture their full potential. And I think that the answer is technology to capture and fulfill the dreams of this gigantic young and very passionate workforce that we have here in Africa.”

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Mohammed Omer says he would love to see a transformed workforce in Africa

Tsione Assefa from Ethiopia graduating with a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering also believes that through the education she has received she will be able to impact her community.

She said, “Education is one of the keys to transforming Africa because as you progress in education, you’ll try to see different aspects or broaden your horizon into any problems you have and come to a solution.”

Tsione Assefa advises young people to stay hungry, stay ambitious, and go for whatever you

Yvette Mabano, from Rwanda, who graduated in Electrical and Computer Engineering says Africa needs its youth and the youth need Africa. She believes young people should not give up.

She said, “Never give up no matter how challenging no matter how much you feel you cannot do it do not give up, continue your dream and continue. Africa and the world is looking out for you.”

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