Regional Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence Project
- Reference: P-RW-IAD-003
- Approval date: 14/12/2010
- Start date: 17/02/2012
- Appraisal Date: 15/06/2010
- Status: OngoingOnGo
- Implementing Agency: Ministry of Education,Science,Technology and Scientific Research
- Location: RWANDA
The project will support the construction and equipping of a regional Center of Excellence, the provision of an academic teaching and research programme based on the CMU curriculum, promotion of entrepreneurship and linkages of the CoE to industry and the establishment of a project management framework.
Component 1. Construction and equipping of the CoE. This component will support the construction and equipping of new facilities for the CoE on the site already reserved for the institution. Technical Annex C2 shows the agreed architectural master plan for the CoE within the New Industrial Area. The project will provide the necessary connectivity and equipment for the CoE in accordance with the architectural design and needs of similar centers. The CoE will be located in Kigali. Rwanda has provided the land for the institution and has the underlying ICT infrastructure to support the center. The CoE will be a public university. The country is playing a leading role in ICT in Africa and has the institutional capacity to manage and monitor the project. The Bank will also be able to leverage the investment made at the KIST which is expected to be one of the feeder institutions for the CoE.
Component 2: Design and delivery of professional graduate degree and research programme. This component will support the design and implementation of teaching, training and research programme based on the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) curriculum. The CMU will recruit academic staff, administer and manage the academic programme including admission of students, establishment of a research center on mobility. and the launching of Executive Education Programme and the African Political Leadership Programme .
Component 3. Promotion of business development and partnerships with public, private sector and ICT industry: This component will develop linkages with productive sectors and strengthen partnerships with private sector. It will facilitate opportunities for new business development, availability of venture capital to stimulate start-ups and provision entrepreneurship training in order to turn innovations into business. The entrepreneurship programme is expected to be financed by the private sector as part of the CMU academic programme. A contract was signed between On the Frontier (OTF) and the GoR. The focus of this contract is to leverage the CoE to support private sector investment into the ICT Park
Component 4: Establishment of Project management and coordination framework: This component will provide the necessary resources tofor strengthen the Ministry of Education in its role of Executing Agencythe establishment and operation of a Project Implementation Unit and the steering committee.
To develop and strengthen high level ICT skills in Rwanda for productivity and competitiveness
All major national economic and policy documents, such as Vision 2020, the EDPRS, and the STI and TVET policies, point to the key role higher education, research, science and technology and technical and vocational training must play in bringing about the structural economic changes sought by Rwanda.
Through the proposed ICT CoE project, the Bank is seizing an opportunity to fulfill its commitment to Rwanda and the region in particular to the Connect Africa Summit concerning its support to the establishment of ICT centers of excellence in Africa. The Bank's experience and mandate provide a unique position to assist the continent in establishing sustainable institutions that respond to skills development and research and innovation capacity to enable Africa to compete in the knowledge economy. This intervention is consistent with the Bank's Medium Term strategy 2008-2012, ICT Operations Strategy, Higher Education, Science and Technology (HEST) Strategy and the recommendations of the Report of the High Level Panel. The project is also an opportunity for the Bank to meet its commitments to the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS).
The Bank has adopted ICT as a cross-cutting theme for its activities and has been financing telecommunications projects and national and multinational projects in all sectors with ICT components. The Bank's ICT Operations Strategy underscores the importance of highly skilled human resource and the interaction between skills and regional regulatory and policy capacity and national programs aimed at improving the state of infrastructure. The Bank is also playing a key role in the preparation of the NEPAD infrastructure program. It has been working with development partners in co-financing ICT projects.
This experience also gives the Bank a comparative advantage in Africa. The Bank's involvement in the establishment of the proposed ICT CoE indicates the Bank's comprehensive and systemic approach to building ICT capacity in Africa, including infrastructure, human resource development, R&D and management. African countries lack advanced skills in computer and software engineering to respond to ICT industry needs and large scale ICT project management and applications in public sector to meet the current challenges in the areas of information security, mobility and software applications development. There is also a substantial need for improved skills in ICT policy and regulation.
The lack of adequate infrastructure (buildings, modern labs and equipment) has been identified as one major cause of the region's lagging behind in technology in general. The market analysis conducted indicated that there is a high demand for skills in wireless networking, mobile computing, broadband applications, information security and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies in the region. It also highlights that the market is growing towards businesses that are data and information driven and that this will need high quality ICT professionals to drive them. Furthermore, there is no institution capable of addressing these concerns. The following opportunities create a potential market as well as a conducive environment for the CoE:
(i) the regional market of undergraduates pursuing ICT courses;
(ii) the growing need of ICT professionals especially in the telecommunication sector;
(iii) the urgent need to address the ICT knowledge gap in tertiary institutions and secondary schools through training the lecturers and teachers in these institutions;
(v) all taxes are waived on computers and software
The CoE will contribute to building capacity in Rwanda in ICT areas. Hundreds of graduates with the minimum level of Masters capable of applying ICTs to all development sectors will be available. The linkage to productive sector component will develop an attractive environment for graduates through incubation in partnership with local and foreign companies which will assist them in creating their own business in the country and region and limit the brain drain. The CoE will have a significant impact on the development of the ICT sector and thus improve delivery of social services such as health, education and public services. It is estimated that within 10 years it will create at least 1142 high level job opportunities in the ICT sector in the region, including 30 direct jobs at the CoE, 855 graduates employed or employers and 257 employees of graduates. Overall, the development of the ICT sector will enhance the economic growth and improvement of the delivery of public services in the country and in the region. Graduates are expected to be employed in public and sectors to design software and applications that are relevant to social sectors and manage large scale e-service projects. The growth in advanced skills will improve research and development in the areas of mobility, security and sectoral application that will have direct impact on the poor. The CoE will enhance the competitiveness of Rwanda and the region by facilitating Rwanda's entry into the knowledge economy;
The CoE will strive towards increased women participation in advanced ICT learning, teaching and research through wide information on its programmes and by encouraging qualified women to apply for admission. The Regional ICT CoE is a post-graduate institution which will admit students with a minimum of a Bachelors degree. The current proportion of female in ICT and S&T graduates is between 15 and 18% in the region. With the establishment of the CoE, it is expected that women will represent at least 25% of total enrolments at the beginning. The proportion of women is expected to rise to 45% by 2015 through marketing of the CoE, sensitization and the award of specific scholarships to female students.
MOCHACHE Jason Mosomi - OSHD2