Professional courses

Why the Professional Courses Offered by the African Center of Excellence in Data Science are Essential | The new times

The professional short courses offered by the African Center of Excellence in Data Science (ACE-DS), in partnership with the Data Science Council of America (DASCA), are showing good results because the beneficiaries have improved their performance in their fields of respective work.

The Center was established at the University of Rwanda on October 17, 2016, with financial support from the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank.

The professional short courses offered in partnership with the Data Science Council of America (DASCA) began in February 2020.

Professor Charles Ruranga, Director of the African Center of Excellence in Data Science, said that there are six professional courses: Associate Big Data Engineer (ABDE), Senior Big Data Engineer (SBDE), Associate Big Data Analyst (ABDA) , Senior Big Data Analyst (SBDA), Senior Data Scientist (SDS) and Principal Data Scientist (PDS).

He said that “it can take six months to complete the professional courses, but it depends on the availability of the participants”.

Mr. Elias Mutezimana, Senior Big Data Engineer, who is the focal point for training at the Center, said that at least 26 students have joined the professional courses since 2021 and five graduates have obtained certificates.

“There is a growing demand for these professional short courses as many organizations rely on data science in different fields. Data helps many organizations make better decisions,” he said.

He explained that with the support of the Data Science Council of America (DASCA), the Center uses special materials that are not available in the local market.

“The lessons are well prepared insofar as the learners understand them easily. The data skills acquired have a positive impact on decision-making for national development,” he said.

Requirements and additional information can be found at and specific information on participation fees can be found at

We met some of the participants who followed these professional short courses and Mr. Valens Ndagijimana is one of them.

He is a certified Associate Big Data Analyst and obtained the Data Science Council of America (DASCA) certificate through the University of Rwanda’s ACE-DS in September 2021.

“As a statistician, I learned that there is a center of excellence in data science thanks to my former classmates who had the opportunity to take a master’s degree in data science in the center, in particular I heard about this special certification program through a colleague who shared the link in the group,” he said.

After graduating from the Department of Applied Statistics at the University of Rwanda, he said he had only basic theoretical knowledge of statistics and data science.

“Therefore, I was looking for more hands-on hands-on experience and application of theoretical knowledge in real life. Prior to this course, I had difficulty dealing with large datasets due to a lack of knowledge of statistical tools, nor did I have knowledge of applying some complex statistical concepts in real life. “, did he declare.

He said that aside from deep understanding of advanced data science concepts, with the knowledge he gained from the course, he said, “I can easily work with very complex datasets (structured and unstructured with learned statistical analysis tools like R, I can automate my daily routine tasks, it allows me to accomplish more than before the course.

The Center also offers doctoral and master’s programs.

Courses offered to master’s and doctoral candidates include data science in data mining, biostatistics, econometrics, actuarial science, and demography.

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