General Electric and the Africa Leadership University (ALU) have announced the kick-off of the 3rd cohort of the Africa Industrial Internet Programme (AIIP) aimed at equipping young Africans with skills to enable them take part in the fourth industrial revolution.
The 2020 cohort has enrolled 35 students from 8 countries across Africa, drawn from Oil & gas, transportation, power, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, telecoms, and aviation industries. Over the last two years, the rigorous training programme has graduated 64 students, of which 50 were fully sponsored by GE from a scholarship fund totaling Ksh 50 million.
Launched in 2018, the programme has empowered participants with essential skills for building applications for the Industrial Internet, which enables machine-to-machine communication that results in systems that can collect, analyze, and deliver data in real-time. These features provide significant benefits such as predicting when a device will require maintenance, enhancing logistics management, enhancing quality and optimizing safety.
The training takes place at a time when spending on the Internet of Things is predicted to reach a trillion US dollars by 202, with the total number of connected devices being projected to rise to 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a fivefold increase in ten years.
Commenting on the Programme, Farid Fezoua, President & CEO for GE Africa said, “As a digital industrial company, it’s exciting to see how over the last two years the AIIP has developed an ecosystem of digital engineers that utilize data science as an enabler for their work across industries, developing solutions for the most pressing challenges. Our partnership with ALU for the AIIP is a testament of our commitment to develop the next generation of leaders that will drive solutions made in Africa for Africa in this transformative digital age.”
The AIIP is designed using a project-based approach where participants get to apply their learning in real-world contexts. The Programme includes regular assessments in each module culminating with a final project where participants are tasked with applying their learning to solve an existing problem either in their business or in a partner organization’s business operations. This is achieved through modules in machine learning and big data analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Cloud-based Application Development. A unique aspect of the Programme is a deliberate focus on creating links to industry for participants by inviting industry experts to intensives to share case studies, projects of interest, trends, and opportunities, through industry field visits and mentorship opportunities with data science professionals.
In 2019 five female candidates from Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria received the Jay Ireland Africa Rising Scholarship for women in tech in honor of GE Africa’s former CEO, Jay Ireland.