Worldwide E-Learning Campus (WEC) Rwanda has launched a partnership with Ericsson to develop professional ICT competencies within the country starting in November 2015.

Left to right: Mr. Nshimirimana Polycarpe (WDA), Dr. Rusagara Innocent (WEC), Mr. Muhigirwa Michel (WEC Student), Mr. Dukuzumukiza Cedecias (WEC Student), Mr. Roti Balogun (Ericsson), Mr. Nicholas Banura Aine (WEC)

Left to right: Mr. Nshimirimana Polycarpe (WDA), Dr. Rusagara Innocent (WEC), Mr. Muhigirwa Michel (WEC Student), Mr. Dukuzumukiza Cedecias (WEC Student), Mr. Roti Balogun (Ericsson), Mr. Nicholas Banura Aine (WEC)

This partnership targets more than 10,000 students from different academic institutions across Rwanda. It adopts a blended learning approach and aims to improve the skillsets of ICT professionals, increasing employability in the ICT industry and ensuring long term capacity development in alignment with the SMART Rwanda program.

WEC is the only institution in Rwanda to have an accredited Cloud Computing qualification program and is an internationally accredited industry certification testing center in Kigali. It is endorsed by the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), the Rwandan Ministry of Education’s agency responsible for providing a strategic response to the skills development challenges facing the country across all sectors of the economy.

Ericsson will provide access to specific online training via the Ericsson Academy, which delivers technical certification programs. Additionally, Ericsson will also provide internships, experiential training and future employment where possible.

Students will be able to follow the Ericsson technical certification program tracks with access to courses such as IP Technology and Networking, Software Defined Networks and Cloud. Courses can be completed at various stages, whilst students are completing their certificate, diploma and degree courses with WEC. Students not interested in the formal certification or academic program track can access a suite of free ICT online courses on the Ericsson website and secure a basic Ericsson ICT Professional Foundation Certificate on completion of all courses and assessments.

According to Roti Balogun, the head of Learning & Development at the Ericsson Academy in sub-Saharan Africa, the collaboration will leverage Ericsson’s technology leadership to build Rwanda’s capacity in its IP and Cloud portfolio areas. “Ericsson has an important role to play in enabling a SMART Rwanda, through building long-term skills and local competencies. This will help realize the Networked Society in Africa, and we are excited to support Rwandan students on this exciting journey.”

“This collaboration is outstanding for Rwanda as it guarantees a dual award of academic and industry validated qualifications”, adds Dr. Innocent Rusagara, Principal of Worldwide E-Learning Campus. “It prepares potential students for future employment in the ICT industry and attempts to address the gap identified in the Rwanda Development Board’s ICT Survey 2012 report. This is a great achievement for the WDA-Skills Development Fund project, which the students can benefit from through the WEC.”

Interested students from various institutions can access the ICT professional foundation courses for free here and here, or apply for WDA-SDF scholarships or email WEC for more information on the formal certification programs.

The program will be a long-term collaboration between Ericsson and WEC. It is funded through the Government of Rwanda’s Skills Development Fund, which has sponsored more than 8,000 Rwandan students across the country since its inception.

Ericsson’s commitment to education in Rwanda also includes the global Connect To Learn initiative, launched in the Millennium Village in 2013, in an effort to use mobility, broadband and cloud solutions to enable over 1,000 students and teachers in Mayange to benefit from global learning resources. This announcement further strengthens their commitment to Rwanda’s development.

Eric Mugendi Author

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