"Before I studied at CENIT@EA, I was employed at BGF bank as an IT Executive in charge of user support. On returning after receiving my Master's degree, I was not only re-employed but also promoted. Today I'm in charge of the bank's entire IT system administration." Armel Bizoza, IT System Administrator, Banque de Gestion et de Financement (BGF), Bujumbura, Burundi.
Armel had been working at BGF Bank in Bujumbura as an IT Executive when he decided it was time for him to develop his skills further. With a fully-funded scholarship via German Development Cooperation with the EAC, Armel started a Master’s Programme in Embedded and Mobile Systems at the Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA) at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha in January 2020. When asked why he changed from a paid job to a university, Armel stressed that he felt the need to acquire additional knowledge. “I wanted to perform better as an IT expert. "To grow your career, you must learn."
In 2023, after finishing his studies, Armel went back to work at BGF as an IT System Administrator. Armel credits his professional growth and expanded responsibilities to the advancement of his education. Looking back, he highlights, “CENIT@EA helped me open my eyes to innovation. I know how to tackle challenges now, and I have the basics to work on solving them.” He also points out that studying in a multicultural environment was a great experience. “I have connections all over East Africa now. I have brothers and sisters from all EAC partner states and can exchange ideas with them on how to solve problems.”
The fully-funded Master’s program in Embedded and Mobile Systems at CENIT@EA is a distinct example of skills development for the digital transformation of the industry in East Africa. The collaboration between academia and industry, supported by the EAC-German partnership through GIZ, has been one of the unique components of the programme, ensuring the quality of practice-oriented teaching and industry-proven curriculum that enabled CENIT@EA students to transfer knowledge to the industry through partnerships.
Read more of Armel's journey leading to his success today here.