The Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA) contributes effectively to the revitalization process of higher education in Africa, with the emergence of a strong and vibrant project profoundly engaged in fundamental and development-oriented research, teaching, community outreach and enrichment services to the lower levels of education, and functioning in an environment of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Besides providing an advanced Excellence Centre for ICT in East Africa, this professional teaching and research environment offers a newly developed master’s programme in Embedded and Mobile Systems. It addresses the lack of qualified personnel in this field and contributes with the comprehensive qualification of personnel and an Excellence Centre, which offers great expertise in the fields of Embedded and Mobile Systems engineering. The main aim of this project is to strengthen teaching and research in this field in the East African Community. The Excellence Centre ensures a high industrial relevance and therefore strengthens the employability of the graduates, creating an environment that helps to reduce brain-drain and offers new opportunities for graduates in the region.
The modern master’s programme includes general and specific modules in Embedded and Mobile Systems, as well as practical elements (heterogeneous teaching module options, internships, generic courses for interdisciplinary competencies, etc.). It is established as a multilateral cooperation between the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania, the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (UOL), Germany, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Braunschweig, Germany, the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW), Berlin, Germany, and the Hochschule Mannheim (HSM), Mannheim, Germany.
The project mainly aims at graduates with a first academic degree (Bachelor’s, Hon’s or equivalent) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), as well as professionals working in academia, industry, or the public sector. An increase of the enrolment and promotion of women in particular is an additional aim, since they are still underrepresented in STEM-related fields and the ICT sector.
The master’s programme includes a variety of courses that can highly qualify the students for industry and research. The four major topics to be addressed in the programme are: Mobile Computing (i.e., Mobile Application Development, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Communication Technology), Embedded Systems (i.e., Systems Engineering, Microcontrollers, Sensors/Actuators, Assembler Programming), Soft Skills (i.e. Project Management, Presentation, Moderation, Conflict Management, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking, etc.), and Basic Skills (i.e., Electrical Engineering, Information Systems Engineering, Operating Systems, E-Business).