Good afternoon.

I am very pleased to join you today, to inaugurate the new Carnegie Mellon University–Africa campus.

We have always been pleased to be associated with Carnegie Mellon University. I thank you for believing in Rwanda, and embarking on this worthy undertaking with us.

I therefore want to congratulate everyone involved, in supporting this partnership, including the MasterCard Foundation and Smart Africa.

In particular, I wish to express our sincere appreciation to the African Development Bank, which provided financing for this new home for CMU-Africa.

This is the first of five centres of excellence across Africa that the Bank has committed to build, and it will enable the university to fulfil its valuable mission.

For the last eight years, you have worked to educate young African engineers, who are driving innovation and technological transformation in their respective institutions and countries.

We thank you for this, and look forward to many more students graduating, and joining the workforce.

The presence of CMU-Africa in Rwanda, has obvious advantages, that I hope all the students will take full advantage of.

First, this world class education is offered right here on the continent, to young Africans who are able to learn and do, in the very context of challenges that need to be addressed.

This makes a difference in terms of solutions that are informed by reality.

It will also contribute to the accelerated transformation we want, especially by developing a strong cadre of job creators.

CMU-Africa is an anchor of the Kigali Innovation City, which is a critical part of Rwanda’s vision for the future.

Like the rest of our continent, Rwanda’s economic growth depends on making the right links between technology and industry, and knowledge and production.

It is worth repeating: Africa cannot afford to be left behind.

Establishing these linkages therefore is an urgent task.

The milestone we are celebrating today is a significant step, in ensuring that we are part of, and benefit from, the global digital revolution.

Finally, beyond the impressive infrastructure, this university is made up of a diverse group of talented people.

The faces I see here, represent a broad spectrum of Africans, as well as colleagues and partners from other regions.

This means that CMU-Africa is much more than an incubator for technology leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.

It is also an important centre for nurturing collaboration on our continent.

We look forward to the community of skilled engineers and researchers being trained here, serving Africa, and beyond has been the case.

And we trust that they will also connect with their peers across the world, to solve challenges that affect us all.

Let me conclude by, once again, expressing our appreciation for the good progress registered, in the partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and Rwanda, which is a very pleasant story that has covered many years and people, including leaders of the university, and others who believed that this project was going to be successful.

We look forward to continued partnership.

I thank you, and look forward to interacting further with all of you.