UR-CST scientists gain Python programming skills under the facilitation of PWSAfrica


Scientists’ students and faculty at the College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda will tomorrow complete a 2 week intensive training to advance skills in Python programming. The training is facilitated by a team from Programming Workshop for Scientists in Africa- PWSAfrica at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

By introducing the Python programming language through a hands-on approach focused on problem-solving, PWSAfrica initiative intends to provide fundamental skills meant to empower UR scientists to become competitive in their professional careers.
Sofiat Olaosebikan is the founder of PWSAfrica initiative and also pursuing PhD in Computer science from the University of Glasgow. She said that the programme was initiated following the scarcity of experts who can guide African scientists’ students in the right direction. Sofiat noted that the training offers fundamentals of python programming which give students an edge to undertake advanced online courses while some others can easily get jobs as software engineers or pursuing careers in data science.

Sofiat Olaosebikan (blue t-shirt), the founder of PWSAfrica during the training

“It is an interesting opportunity that would be great if every young scientist in Africa is exposed to skills in computer programming” She said.

It was explained that python is a very useful computer based program for solving complex problems in different fields. According to Sofiat, the increase of big data doesn’t allow human beings to solve problems by hand which would take a lot of time, much expenses and energy. By harnessing the power of the computer, it is much easier to solve a lot of scientific complex problems. For this to happen, people need to understand programming language in order to be able to communicate solutions using computer.

Speaking during the training, Zita Bahire a student at UR College of Science and technology attested the importance of the training as it helped her to learn new vital functions behind computer programming. Despite finding some of training materials very hard, she coped up and also appreciated the way the training was delivered.

Zita Bahire (L) a student in computer engineering

“Many things were learnt from scratch, whenever you get stuck, trainers would come to you for help to understand the whole logic and process, “said Zita who is majoring in computer engineering.

The training was hosted by the University of Rwanda through a competitive process whereby 11 African Universities had applied to host it. According to PWSAfrica, UR-CST was selected due to facilities it would provide during the workshop and the safety of the training team. The training was also attracted participants outside Rwanda mainly from Kenya and Uganda. In 2018, it was held in the university of Ibadan Nigeria.

sections of participants and facilitators during the training