Carnegie Mellon University and the Mastercard Foundation, in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, have announced a $275.7 million partnership that seeks to advance engineering and technology education at CMU in Africa. The investment from Mastercard Foundation includes a $175 million endowment to perpetually fund Carnegie Mellon Africa and $100.7 million to establish CMU-Africa’s Center for the Inclusive Digital Transformation of Africa.
today announced a transformational investment in higher education and innovation in Africa.
The new initiative builds on a previous partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a successful decade-long partnership between the Government of Rwanda and CMU-Africa that has connected 561 young people from 21 African countries to world-class training — including 125 students supported through the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Through the strategic collaboration and generous support of the Government of Rwanda and the Rwandan people, CMU-Africa has built a strong educational platform that serves the continent.
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Mastercard Foundation, in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, are pursuing a transformational partnership in higher education and innovation in Africa to catalyze opportunities for 10,000 young people to engage with emerging technologies and lead the digital transformation of the continent.
Carnegie Mellon University Africa was established in 2011 through a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and the Government of Rwanda. CMU-Africa has a strong connection to Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Pittsburgh through faculty collaborations, teaching and student exchanges.
CMU-Africa offers graduate degrees in information technology, electrical and computer engineering, and engineering artificial intelligence through Carnegie Mellon’s top-ranked College of Engineering, with the same standards, curricula and requirements as its Pittsburgh campus. Carnegie Mellon is the only U.S. research university with master’s degree programs and full-time faculty, staff and operations on the continent.
Through this partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, CMU-Africa will:
- Expand instructional capacity, including introducing a new degree in engineering artificial intelligence, and online learning programs.
- Grow the annual cohort of students enrolling in CMU-Africa by more than 33%.
- Provide additional financial assistance to more CMU-Africa students, including increased support for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at CMU-Africa. The partnership will provide direct scholarship support to a total of 300 students.
- Ensure programs recruit and provide opportunities for marginalized groups.
- Pilot programs for English language immersion to help prepare undergraduate students from other African universities for graduate study.
The new partnership will also strengthen Africa’s research, entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem more broadly by:
- Establishing a network of higher education institutions in Africa that will work with the private sector and governments to create the conditions for inclusive digital transformation.
- Supporting as many as 10 African universities to deliver high-quality engineering and technology education.
- Increasing digital knowledge creation to drive technology development and job-creating innovation through training, seed funding and collaboration opportunities for researchers at CMU-Africa and other partner universities.
- Directly involving faculty and staff from CMU-Pittsburgh in CMU-Africa activities to innovate in education and help create the knowledge needed to drive the inclusive digital transformation of Africa in fields that include agriculture, health and finance, among others.