On September 15, 2011 Carnegie Mellon University announced an unprecedented gambit. In the fall of 2012, a group of 40 students will attend the first American research institution to offer a degree in Africa with an in-country presence.
Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda (CMU-R) will offer a Masters in Science degree in Information Technology and Electrical Engineering “with a multidisciplinary curriculum that strikes a fine balance between technology, business, and innovation, preparing the next generation of IT leaders in East Africa.”
The school is part of Rwanda’s strategy to establish itself as a regional leader in ICT. Already in 2007, Rwanda was named East Africa’s leading ICT nation by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
CMU’s announcement followed on the heels of a conference held at CMU in partnership with the State of Pennsylvania and ISOKO Institute to promote private investment in Africa. The event, entitled “Doing Business in Africa: The World’s Last Great Market”, featured Dean of CMU’s engineering school Pradeep Kholsa, ISOKO CEO Dale Dawson, ISOKO Managing Director Jay Hein, State of Pennsylvania’s Global Operations Direction Alain Mortha, author Andrea Redmond, and consultant Dan Vogel as keynote speakers. (Read the op-ed released to the Pittsburgh Gazette as a companion to the event)