Carnegie Mellon celebrates CMU-Africa Week 2024

Hannah Diorio-Toth

Apr 25, 2024

In its second year running, CMU-Africa Week welcomed students from the land of a thousand hills to the city of bridges. The annual event aims to build a stronger connection between the two College of Engineering locations and highlight the research happening in Kigali, Rwanda.

13 students traveled from CMU-Africa and joined 12 of their peers who have been studying in Pittsburgh for the semester through the global campus exchange program. Throughout the week, the students had the opportunity to experience CMU’s Pittsburgh campus through tours of the Tech Spark, Mill19, and the JPMorgan Chase & Co. AI Maker Space. They also had the chance to visit and tour companies like Google, explore the city, and attend a few events, including a Pittsburgh Pirates game.

"Welcoming CMU-Africa students to campus for the exchange program and this annual event is a wonderful experience for not only the visiting students, but the entire Carnegie Mellon community," says Jennifer Spirer, director of graduate affairs in the College of Engineering. "Creating cross-cultural connections allows for a tremendous learning experience."

On April 10, the CyLab Security and Privacy Institute and the College of Engineering hosted a day-long event for the Carnegie Mellon community with an agenda featuring African culture and engineering research spanning CMU-Pittsburgh and CMU-Africa. The day began with a series of research talks from faculty, including CMU-Africa’s Moise Busogi and George Okeyo. Students then led a poster session showcasing their research in fields such as agriculture, healthcare, cybersecurity, and policy development. Many projects highlighted the use of artificial intelligence, including in the automated detection of neonatal asphyxia, AI-driven precision farming, and livestock identification.

Following the poster session, students transitioned to a cultural event that included presentations about the diversity of the African continent. Students talked about the traditions, language, food, music, and art of their home countries. The audience joined in the fun through a series of quizzes and games about the presentations.

"CMU-Africa Week is an important tradition that gives faculty and students—who are normally located across the world from one another—the opportunity to engage in person," says George Okeyo, associate teaching professor and director of academics at CMU-Africa. "The event gives greater visibility to the many ways that we can work together to solve global challenges through research and educational programs."

For more information about collaborating with CMU-Africa on research, please contact Tim Brown.