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Rwanda ICT Chambers Graduates Students with Tech Driven Innovations

by Daniel Sabiiti
12:29 pm

Some of the 3rd cohort Tech UpSkill graduates

The Rwanda ICT Chambers and Access to International Partnerships in IT (AIPI) has graduated its third Tech UpSkill cohort which showcased technology driven innovations and solutions that will enable the country to become a tech hub.

Tech UpSkill is an AIPI training program aimed at supporting youth with adequate capacity to utilize available technology and spaces in creating solutions to complex challenges and generating employment. opportunities.

The 2024 cohort group of 88 secondary and university graduates on February 16, 2024 received their certificate in software and hardware engineering after completing a four-month training program displaying talent and entrepreneurship skills in both fields.

The 2024 cohort group

Over the course implementation, the program brings together different groups of talents, developers, and aspiring professionals, resulting in the greatest outcomes for both the participants and the technology industry.

The program also equips talents with needed soft skills to be able to market and sell their solutions to potential employers and investors.

At the award ceremony the program talents showcased and presented different projects they worked on and a panel of experts assessed to qualify for awards according to their performance.

Plastic Recycling 3D Printer demo

In the Hardware category, the winner was Plastic Recycling 3D Printer- a developed machine to recycle waste plastics into filament, the runner up was Clean robot developed to clean smooth surfaces that will be further improved to remove waste in water bodies.

The 2nd runner up was the Charcoal Briquetting machine and briquettes production which produces cooking energy saving briquettes from public waste.

Top three winners in the software category were; Eco- learn, SP Gaz and ⁠Farmie which provide front and backend web based interfaces to help Rwandans learn about the environment, order for gas online and connect farmers to markets respectively.

The 3rd and last cohort adds to close to 600 talents who have been trained under the AIPI project for the last three years of which over 400 jobs have been created under the Tech Up Skill program alone.

Dr. Geraldine Schmitz, the AIPI Project Director said that the Tech Up Skill is coming to an end but it has created an impact among young tech developers and there are plans to solicit more funding to sustain the field of tech innovations.

Rwanda ICT Chambers CEO, Alex Ntale,

Rwanda ICT Chambers CEO, Alex Ntale, who officiated over the graduation ceremony said that in collaboration with the government, the chamber is soliciting all possible avenues and partnerships to increase youth skills in ICTs so as to drive the country’ agenda of becoming a tech hub.

Tech UpSkill databases show that women are the least enrolled (22%) and the largest numbers of participants come from the Kigali City (Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Kicukiro districts) as to sources of trainees while rural districts are less represented.

Husna Butoyi Umurerwa, the Programs Manager FabLab Rwanda said that in order to extend the innovation (Fablabs) hubs from the four existing ones in Kigali, Huye, Musanze and Rwamagana to eight more- with four more in Muhanga, Rusizi, Rubavu and Kayonza districts.

“These new areas will soon have new hubs, so that the youths in those areas can access the technology and spaces to innovate,” Umurerwa said.

Angelique Mukaremera, a mechanical engineering student at IPRC Karongi was on the team that developed a traffic control drone

Nadine Manishimwe, an electronic and telecommunication student at IPRC Tumba and one of the developers in the Plastic Recycling 3D Printer team says that being courageous to undertake hands-on skills is key to encouraging girls in science and technology.

She says the cohort has opened her to improve on her learned skills but also develop new business ideas which will be a source of income.

Nadine Manishimwe (6th Left) among the few best performing women at the 3rd cohort

Cyriacca Urwibutso who is on the briquetting team and a former student of INES Ruhengeri (Industrial IT) says that in order to increase the number of women in ICTs, there is need to encourage young girls to believe in themselves to beat the fear that prevents them from taking on male dominated careers.

Cyriacca Urwibutso (far right) says confidence on Women Can drives her role in tech innovations

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