New Telecommunications Engineering MSC Programme to Support Sector in Ethiopia

Ethio Telecom CEO Andualem Admassie (Left) & minister of Urban Development and Housing, Mekuria Haile (right).

A long-awaited Master of Science programme in Telecommunications Engineering is soon to be launched at the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAIT).

The two-year programme, which was designed with the primary goal of supplying the nation’s telecoms sector with local professionals, was jointly designed by AAIT and Ethio Telecom, and will cost approximately 23m Br over five years (not counting laboratory equipment). Other partners in the design and implementation of the project are Aalto University in Finland, and various Chinese universities and telecoms companies.

Ethiopia has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in the world, with just 0.75% of the population online. The numbers for cell phones and land lines are much higher, and ethio telecom is one of the largest providers in Africa, but much of the design and installation work for the infrastructure is being done by foreigners. Changing this was the rationale that inspired professors at the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at AAIT, to come up with the idea for the project.

The plan is for the programme to begin this year and produce 300 experts by the end of the second Growth and Transformation Plan in five years.

This new programme was designed over the course of one year, with approximately 38 separate meetings between eight professors from AAiT and three experts from ethio telecom. The curriculum is based on an analysis of over 1,000 courses and involved discussion with ethio telecom, international vendors and operators and other colleges.

The curriculum will be divided into two streams; one for network engineering, which deals with infrastructure, and the other for information systems, which deals with services. Students will be allowed to choose between a thesis and non-thesis version of the programme.

The programme is in keeping with the recent trend of collaboration between government and academia. The Ethiopian Roads Authority trains road engineers through AAIT and the Ethiopian Railway Corporation sends its employees to the Institute to study electrical, mechanical and civil engineering.

Source: Addis Fortune

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