Emergency notifications

CMU-Africa is continuously monitoring the changing COVID-19 situation and we are working hard to plan for different contingencies ensuring the health and safety of our community.

Please bookmark this page for updates on health and safety, academic and business operations.

October 15, 2020 update

CMU-Africa will return to campus on October 19, 2020 under a hybrid model, blending in-person instruction and remote learning. CMU-Africa staff and faculty have dedicated a lot of time about returning to campus in a safe and deliberate manner. To ensure the health and safety of all, we will begin with a phased approach and new protocols will apply. Below are a few noteworthy details.

Who will be on campus

  • Faculty will be on campus only when teaching an in-person class.
  • Only essential staff will be working on campus and they have received communication.
  • A maximum of 70 students will be allowed on the campus at a given time. A separate communication with time slots when the students will be permitted on campus will be shared by Chipiwa Zimbwa.
  • Contractors will only be allowed on campus when executing the required essential services.

All other persons requiring access to the CMU-Africa location will require a written authorization, that may be obtained from Chipiwa Zimbwa, Director of Business Operations.

Anyone who is sick must stay home

Anyone who is unwell is required to notify Student services or your direct supervisor and must stay home.

All employees, students, contractors and anyone else planning to be on campus who exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms must stay home. You are strongly advised to call the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) toll-free number 114 to receive the appropriate guidance. In addition, please notify one of the CMU-Africa Pandemic safety officers listed below.

Should you feel sick while on campus

Please make your way to closest isolation room (B203 or C103) and immediately a pandemic safety officer, who will contact RBC for the appropriate guidance.

Faculty, staff, and students who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, or have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual within the last 14 days must inform a Pandemic safety officer. Information regarding your circumstances will only be shared as necessary for the university to safeguard the community and to comply with any applicable laws or government regulations. You will be required to stay at home and cannot return to campus unless cleared by a healthcare practitioner. Faculty, staff and students should provide documentation of their clearance to Chipiwa Zimbwa.

Visitors, contractors and other persons who are planning to be on campus and received a positive diagnosis or close contact exposure in the last 14 days must inform their supervisor or CMU-Africa host. They must stay home and cannot return to campus unless cleared by a healthcare practitioner. The supervisor or CMU-Africa host will inform Chipiwa Zimbwa.

Course schedules and registration

Courses will be offered in two modalities: remote only and hybrid (in-person plus remote). The decision for which courses will be offered remotely  or with a hybrid option, has been a careful process that considered safety protocols, classroom space and the number of enrolled students.

Students may view the schedule, which will indicate course modality. The student services team will be available to answer other schedule-related questions.


Signs have been posted campus-wide to reinforce physical distancing requirements, to remind people to wash their hands frequently and to provide other directions as needed, such as where a stairwell is designated as only one-way. “Foot” decals have been securely placed on floors where lines of people typically form as a reminder to maintain 2 meters between yourself and others. Those common areas in use will have reminders to maintain a low population density.

Safe physical distancing in rooms

Classrooms and public areas have been reconfigured so that all chairs, seats, and work surfaces are a safe distance away from each other. The maximum number of occupants per space will be posted at the entrance of each room. Distancing locations will be clearly marked on the floor so that everyone will be able to position themselves in a safe manner. 

Daily temperature checks

All faculty, staff, students and visitors will be subject to temperature checks upon arrival on campus. Should you be found to have above-threshold temperature (37.5C) you will be required to wait in the isolation room as we await guidance from Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC). 

All persons will be required to log in and out with the security guards at the point of entry and exit of the building.


All persons will be required to wash their hands and sanitize at all entry points into the building. You will be required to wash your hands after coming into contact with high-touch surfaces such as printers and copiers. On stairs and in stairwells, be mindful of your contact with handrails and wash your hands with soap immediately afterward. If soap and water are not available, personnel should use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Facial coverings

All faculty, staff, students, and contractors must wear a facial covering at all times while on CMU-Africa premises both inside and outside of buildings. Facial coverings should cover the nose and mouth at all times. 

Exceptions to wearing face masks

While eating or drinking, or when alone in a private space, such as an office. When outdoors or in any public space, facial coverings must be worn at all times.

Facial coverings will be provided to all faculty, staff and students who will be on campus. These will be distributed on the first day you return to campus. If you are in need of a facial covering, contact Mika Inamahoro.


A shuttle service will transport students to and from campus. The routes and schedule will be shared in a separate communication.

Catering services

Catering services will be available on campus from October 26, 2020. A lunch buffet will be served from 11am to 3pm. Snacks will be available for purchase throughout the day.

Fewer in-person meetings

In-person gatherings or meetings are strongly discouraged. All meetings should be held virtually via Zoom or other conferencing technologies whenever possible or outside as an alternative. 

Pandemic safety officers

Pandemic safety officers have been appointed and trained. They will ensure that the campus community has the information and resources they need to comply with the minimum safety requirements and will remind people of required safe practices. You may reach them at: 

Enhanced sanitation and disinfection

Facilities Management will be conducting enhanced sanitation and disinfection of the entire building prior to the return to campus. Once classes start, enhanced sanitation and disinfectant cleaning procedures will be carried out every 24 hours in high-traffic and occupied common areas. Restrooms and other high-touch areas will be disinfected at additional times during the day.

We will continue to review and follow guidance from the Government of Rwanda including any new guidelines for higher education as they evolve.

We highly encourage you all to adhere to the protocols in place to help protect the CMU-Africa community and beyond. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Chipiwa Zimbwa or student services.

March 27, 2020 update


Carnegie Mellon University Africa Graduation Ceremony Postponement

Due to the continuing global public health threat and in order to adhere to guidelines from the Government of Rwanda concerning the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, Carnegie Mellon University Africa, after much deliberation, has taken the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Graduation Ceremony, planned for Sunday, May 31.  

This is a postponement, and we remain committed to bring the Class of 2020 together, for an in-person Graduation ceremony, in the next academic year. This ceremony will include key elements of Carnegie Mellon Africa’s graduation celebration, to allow our graduates to mark this important milestone with friends, family, and the entire CMU-Africa community. We will share details about the Graduation ceremony, including the date, as soon as the current situation subsides, and our full operations return to normal.

In lieu of the Graduation ceremony, Carnegie Mellon University will host a brief online program to virtually confer degrees to all its graduates. The virtual ceremony will bring together the whole CMU community, including CMU-Africa, in order to recognize our students’ accomplishments at CMU, at the time they complete their degrees. More details on the program and how to participate in this event will be shared as plans continue to be developed.

The CMU-Africa community looks forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 in the next academic year.

To share your thoughts/suggestions or for any inquiries, please email:  africa-studentservices@andrew.cmu.edu


Other updates:

Consistent with the communication issued by the Government of Rwanda, Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa) in consultation with the Ministry of Education is undertaking the following measures effective immediately.

  • We have transitioned to remote instruction and distance learning which will continue through the end of the semester.
  • No students will be allowed on campus until further notice.
  • Non-essential staff will work remotely.
  • University events, meetings and student gatherings both on and off campus are suspended until further notice.

We encourage CMU-Africa faculty, staff and students to follow the guidelines on health, hygiene and social distancing provided by:

If you have had close contact with a confirmed case or contact with someone currently being evaluated for COVID-19, immediately call the Rwanda Ministry of Health toll free number 114. Please also call this number for guidance if you are developing signs of respiratory infection (especially fever, cough and difficulty breathing).


As CMU's locations move to remote instruction, Computing Services has provided technology guidance for attending classes, completing your coursework and accessing university resources from a remote location.

Remote learning guidance for students

Remote working tools for faculty and staff

For assistance with student services, email: africa-studentservices@andrew.cmu.edu

For assistance with IT services, email the IT support team

Get the most up-to-date information on Carnegie Mellon’s response to the coronavirus