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GE, Africa Leadership University Launch $500,000 Funds for Africa Industrial Internet Programme (AIIP) 

General Electric and the Africa Leadership University (ALU) have announced the kick-off of the 3rd cohort of the Africa Industrial Internet Programme (AIIP) which is aimed at equipping young Africans with skills that will enable them to take part in the fourth industrial revolution, according to the report.

Participants in the 2020 AIIP Program Photo Courtesy: Africa Tech

The 2020 cohort has enrolled 35 students from 8 countries across Africa, drawn from Oil & gas, transportation, power, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, telecoms and aviation industries.

The General Electric backed programme has graduated 64 students over the last two years, of which 50 were fully sponsored by GE from a scholarship fund totalling US Dollars 500,000.

The programme was launched in 2018, it has empowered participants with essential skills for building applications for the Industrial, Internet, which enables machine-to-machine communication that results in systems that can collect, analyse, and deliver data in real-time.

These features provide significant benefits such as predicting when a device will require maintenance, enhancing logistics management, enhancing quality and optimizing safety.

The training takes place at a time when spending on the Internet of Things is predicted to reach a trillion US dollars by 202, with the total number of connected devices being projected to rise to 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a fivefold increase in ten years.

The President & CEO for GE Africa, Farid Fezoua, said, “As a digital industrial company, it’s exciting to see how over the last two years the AIIP was developing an ecosystem of digital engineers that utilise data science as an enabler for their work across industries, developing solutions for the most pressing challenges. Our partnership with ALU for the AIIP is a testament of our commitment to develop the next generation of leaders that will drive solutions made in Africa for Africa in this transformative digital age.”

The AIIP is designed using a project-based approach where participants get to apply their learning in real world contexts. The Programme includes regular assessments in each module culminating with a final project where participants are tasked with applying their learning to solve an existing problem either in their business or in a partner organization’s business operations. This is achieved through the modules in machine learning and big data analytics, Industrial Internet ofThings (IIoT) and Cloud-based Application Development.

A unique aspect of the Programme is a deliberate focus on creating links to industry for participants by inviting industry experts to the intensives to share case studies, projects of interest, trends and opportunities, through industry field visits and mentorship opportunities with data science professionals.

“African Leadership Group is thrilled to be partnering with GE to build a new generation of digital leaders for Africa” said Fred Swaniker, Founder of African Leadership Group, which includes the African Leadership Academy, AfricanLeadership University, and ALX.

“We share GE’s passion for data, and what it can bring to theAfrican continent and the world. The Programme enables mid-career engineers to build new skills in data analytics, data, science, data engineering and data visualization. By leveraging the power of data, today’s engineers can significantly improve the performance of high-tech industrial machinery and processes, thereby increasing the bottom line for companies. The programme is creating globally competitive, digital engineers right here in Africa, and we can’t wait to see their full impact on the continent”.

Last year, five female candidates from Kenya, SouthAfrica and Nigeria received the Jay Ireland AfricaRising Scholarship for women in tech, in honour of GEAfrica’s former CEO, Jay Ireland.

A 2019 cohort graduate, Funmi Somoye, from Nigeria said, “More than Machine Learning and Data Science, I have learned more about myself, and what I am capable of doing. I can’t wait to change the world!”

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