Under the theme ‘Accelerating Africa's Single Digital Market’, the fourth Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda welcomed over 4,000 participants including global leaders, innovators and international organizations. CMU-Africa was the lead partner of the Transform Africa Summit 2018 (TAS2018), and participated in several engaging sessions throughout the three day event. The Smart Africa flagship event hosted guests from May 7th – 10th 2018, where delegates engaged in conversations around Africa’s digital revolution, and participated in the first Transform Africa Economic Forum which focused on investment opportunities and areas of collaboration.
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) President Emeritus Jared Cohon attended the event, hosted by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. The opening session was chaired by President Kagame who thanked CMU for its support of the Summit: “The support of sponsors and partners of this event is greatly appreciated, particularly Carnegie Mellon University. Thank you for your commitment to Smart Africa’s mission.”
President Kagame commended the prominent participation of youth and women in Transform Africa and noted that “our strategic investments in technology and education will only have their full impact if they are matched by efforts to ensure all sectors of our society can access the benefits.”
Speaking at the opening, Dr. Cohon said “I applaud Smart Africa for putting youth at the forefront of their mission, and prioritizing education as a flagship initiative; and I wish to thank them for their tremendous support of our program through the Smart Africa Scholarship Fund. Through your investment, we are harnessing Africa's brightest young minds, equipping them with the knowledge and experience to make an impact in their communities and in the world.”
CMU-Africa students are committed to contributing to Africa’s transformation. Over 85% of our graduates work on the continent, many of whom are engaged in cutting-edge research.
On the Leaders’ Tour, Smart Africa Alliance board members led by President Kagame visited CMU-Africa's booth. They were told about CMU-Africa's programs, and how the Smart Africa Scholarship Fund has benefitted 27 students thus far.
CMU-Africa faculty, staff, students and alumni participated in several conversations throughout the Summit including:
- Innovation for Digital Health: Biotech, Drones, IoT, Mobile, Big Data, AI
Speaker: Prof. Vijayakumar Bhagavatula
- Digital Skills and Jobs: Building a Digital Workforce For A Digital Society
Speaker: Prof. Michel Bezy
- Blockchain Technologies for Africa
Speaker: Prof. Timothy X Brown
This year, CMU-Africa hosted an innovative panel: ‘Youth: Empowering Africa’s Digital Disruptors’ led CMU-Africa alumni and graduating students who spoke about how their work is driving innovation on the continent.
As a lead partner in the Ms. Geek Africa 2018 Competition, as well as the Smart Africa Women Summit, CMU-Africa continued to show its commitment to supporting and uplifting women in STEM fields.
The Transform Africa Summit is geared to enable member states to become more collaborative and open, and to have innovative smart economies with favorable business environments that leverage ICT innovations.