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15 women complete training in Internet of Things, entrepreneurship

Fifteen female graduates have completed a training program organized by the University of Rwanda’s African Center of Excellence in Internet of Things (ACEIoT) through a project funded by the US Embassy.
The project, titled "Academia-Industry Collaboration for Empowerment of Female Graduate Students in Business, Entrepreneurship and Internet of Things (IoT)," aims to enhance the IoT capabilities of female graduates in ICT by providing training, internships, and workshops on IoT-related business and entrepreneurship.
According to Damien Hanyurwimfura, Director of ACEIoT, the training program saw the trainees come to the centre four days a week for four hours, as well as participating in industrial attachments with Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and Norrsken to gain practical experience and improve their chances of securing jobs.
He said that out of 15 trainees, four have already secured employment.
Hanyurwimfura noted that the training program spanned four months, followed by three months of industrial attachment.
He declared that ACEIoT aims to promote female participation and has enrolled two of the trainees in a post-graduate program. Additionally, the centre aims to help the trainees through its incubation centre that promotes innovative projects and connects students with private sector partners to commercialize their ideas.
Didacienne Mukanyiligira, the Project Coordinator, explained that in August 2022, they selected graduates from universities and Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRCs) with backgrounds in ICT, IT, electronics, and electrical engineering who had the best marks to be enrolled in the project.
"Girls face a lot of challenges every day, which hinders their ability to succeed in the labour market," she noted. "The project empowered the selected graduates with skills that will help them succeed in the labour market and implement some of the projects they developed during the training program. They received new skills in IoT that they didn’t have previously, as well as hands-on experience in the field and mentorship from accomplished women in science and technology."
Mukanyiligira also noted that the project will continue to mentor and refer the graduates to opportunities and support to help them succeed in their careers
Aline Umutoniwase, who completed the training, mentioned that she acquired new skills related to IoT, electronics, and market strategy.
She also worked on a project called Seed Drying and Rainfall Monitoring System. This system involves a ground where seeds are placed and, using a rain sensor, a wrapper automatically covers them when it starts raining, and uncovers them when it stops.
The system also monitors the moisture level, temperature, and humidity in the seeds, and data is sent to a dashboard where the responsible person can analyse the condition of the seeds.
Umutoniwase plans to enhance the project and bring it to market, and is currently exploring ways to transform her ideas into action.

Damien Hanyurwimfura, Director of African Center of Excellence in Internet of Things and Jeffrey T Cole, Grants Officer at US Embassy pose for a photo after presenting a certificate to one of the graduates.
The 15 women who completed training and different officials who attended the event posing for a picture.