The African Centre of Excellence in Data Science

The African Centre of Excellence in Data Science

The African Center of Excellence in Data Science (ACE-DS) is one of 24 Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence in the World Bank’s ACE II Project. The main objective of ACE Il Project is to strengthen selected Eastern and Southern African higher education institutions to deliver quality post-graduate education and build collaborative research capacity in the regional priority areas.

The ACE-DS is a regional centre for which core mission is to train post-graduate students with combined expertise in statistics, economics, business, computer science, and engineering to use big data and data analytics to solve development challenges.The ACE-DS is based at the University of Rwanda in the School of Business and Economics. The ACE-DS places southern and eastern regions of Africa at the forefront of an emerging academic field that encourages collaborative partnerships between academia, government and the private sector.

About University of Rwanda

About University of Rwanda

The University of Rwanda is Africa’s leading provider of highly enterprising graduates prepared and dedicated to building a more just and sustainable society locally, nationally, and globally, with appropriate innovations that advance the quality of life.

With a student population of over 30,000 enrolled in six colleges and nine campuses, the university is devoted to the advancement of Rwanda through the discovery and promotion of knowledge and the commitment to academic excellence. Its aim is to equip and ready its students with the skills and capability to employ service, leadership, and creative solutions in their chosen careers. The university’s passion and commitment to blending IT-based resources from around the globe, preparing students for service to their communities and country through applied service-learning programs, and ensuring the development of education programs for enhancing skills and knowledge is central to its framework to transform lives and address the challenges of the future.

Preparing Africa’s Next-Gen for Data Science Leadership

As the landscape of work continues to evolve, Africa must leverage all available resources to drive innovation and make a positive impact on tomorrow's world.

Africa is increasingly being recognized for producing top-tier data talent. As per the analogy of "data being the new oil," Google and the International Finance Institution predict that Africa's digital economy could boost its GDP by USD 180 billion by 2025. Data science, spearheaded by data scientists based in Africa, holds tremendous potential in tackling various challenges faced by the continent.

  • The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced in 2019 its goal of creating 30,000 jobs in the ICT sector by 2024.
  • The LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report revealed a 10x increase in job postings for data scientists and machine learning engineers in Rwanda.
  • A report by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) shows increasing use of data science in the country.
  • By 2030, digital skills will be necessary for approximately 50-55% of jobs in Kenya, 35-45% of jobs in Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Rwanda, and 20-25% of jobs in Mozambique.
Preparing Africa’s Next-Gen for Data Science Leadership
DASCA Accreditation World Data Science Initiative

The academic programs of the University of Rwanda listed here successfully completed evaluation by the Data Science Council of America and were granted accreditation on August 14, 2020.

UoR accomplished this achievement under the World Data Science Initiative for its demonstrated potential to deliver standards-backed data science education to students. The delivery of these programs’ data science, data engineering, and data analytics components is centrally managed by ACE-DS to integrate learning for students across all data science programs seamlessly. A highlight of the learning initiative of UoR is students getting the opportunity to earn a coveted DASCA credential before they graduate.

List of Accredited programs in conformance to the Essential knowledge framework of DASCA
  • M.Sc. in Data Science in Actuarial Sciences
  • M.Sc. in Data Science in Biostatistics
  • M.Sc. in Data Science in Data Mining
  • M.Sc. in Data Science in Econometrics
  • Ph.D. in Data Science in Actuarial Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Data Science in Biostatistics
  • Ph.D. in Data Science in Data Mining
  • Ph.D. in Data Science in Econometrics

“We are very excited to be a DASCA-accredited CoE,” emphasized Dr. Charles Ruranga, the ACE-DS Director. “Africa has unlimited potential for economic, social, and human development. By being at the forefront of data science education, we can now better train the next wave of professionals to help solve these development challenges.”

Dr. Charles Ruranga
Dr. Charles Ruranga
Associate Professor and Director of African Center of Excellence in Data Science (ACE-DS)

Accreditation Impact

Committing to quality standards in data science

  • Demonstrate the institute's adherence to advancing the quality of its data science programs.
  • Achieving excellence in data science education by aligning to the 11 Data Science Education Management Standards established by DASCA.
  • Holding the stakeholders of the institution accountable by committing to the latest data science practices.
  • Reassuring corporate recruiters that the university has prepared its students on the latest data science standards.
  • Putting the institution at the forefront of data science education.
  • Encouraging students to hold themselves accountable by putting in extra effort to excel in their careers.
  • Ensuring continuous improvement and adaptation to deliver value and impact.