15 January 2021, as the new academic year 2021 kicks off, the Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA) welcomed new students of its third cohort of the market-driven and practice-oriented Master programme in “Embedded and Mobile Systems” (MSc EMoS), at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania.
30 scholarships are offered by the German Government through the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), administered through the East African – German academic consortium and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In an official welcoming ceremony, the regional Centre of Excellence recognized the students, 5 from each EAC partner state who will benefit from the full sponsorship and gain skills from the unique curriculum in the EAC, developed in close cooperation with the private sector and includes unique elements, such as a mandatory internship for industry-academia innovation transfer, digital innovations and ideation training, entrepreneurial and soft skills training, tailored guest lecturers from the private sector, as well as an applied research and Master thesis project with private sector. Additional slots will be offered to students who applied and plan to join this 3rd cohort on private sponsorship. Noteworthy is the achievement of the 43% ratio of female students, in an ICT field which is challenging to attain not only in the region.
A student from Kenya, Joseph Ngigi said “There are not many opportunities in the region to study Masters in embedded systems, and most are expensive it needed me to take a lot of time to raise money. My passion for wireless communications in public transport is the reason CENIT@EA was the opportunity I tirelessly pursued since 2018, assured that the skills obtained will match the demand in the field.”
“I am privileged to be part of this cohort as it’s hard for females and young girls to be educated and advance in career in an unfavorable environment. It was a difficult decision to leave my children with my sister in Uganda but I know this opportunity will give me another chance to get back on my feet in my career as everything stopped for me when war broke out in my country and I moved to Uganda as a refugee” said Siama Mary, a student from South Sudan who wants to solve communications challenge facing women and girls in the community who seek channels for counselling and empowerment.
“The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements projects with the East African Community (EAC) on regional economic development and integration such as CENIT@EA, a project of the EAC that offers digital skills enabling its students to pioneer digital transformation in the EAC” explained Simon Hochstein, CENIT@EA Project Director. While officially welcoming CENIT@EA students, “GIZ congratulates and welcomes all the students from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan who succeeded in the competitive regional call. GIZ supports students during the Centre’s collaborations with private sector, the innovation ecosystem and development of digital solutions” he added.
To date the Centre of Excellence has offered 88 scholarships and enrolled up to 95 students to the Masters programme in Embedded and Mobile systems that encourages innovative thinking and design of digital solutions for existing industry and community challenges faced in the region. Through the Centre’s collaboration with industry, CENIT@EA Young Professionals are developing and implementing digital solutions that improve operational efficiency translating manual processes to digital automated processes by integrating AI, Machine Learning, Big data analytics, Android applications technologies such as the case study of the Development of Afya Wananchi Mobile platform for ease of access to health information at EANASSO and the Design and Installation of Passenger Security system and Cashless payment system for the Electric buses (Kayoola EVS) at Kiira Motors Corporation.