The Africa Industrial Internet Programme (AIIP) is a series of educational courses that aims to equip junior and midlevel engineers and industry professionals with the necessary skills to harness artificial intelligence, the industrial Internet of Things and advanced analytics for their businesses, says African Leadership University AIIP programme director Adam Collier.
The programme, offered in collaboration with power multinational GE Africa and South African analytics company Ixio Analytics, aims to provide professionals who have substantial experience in their industries with new skills to leverage the large volumes of data to improve business.
In creating “digital champions” who will act as catalysts for the use of information and communication technologies in their companies and industry, greater benefits will be derived from data-driven decision-making, and making monitoring and evaluation processes less retrospective, closer to real time and more impactful, explains Collier.
“The programme has three components: technical training on how to manage data, manipulate it and draw insight from data; a leadership facet; and a practical side where the participants solve problems for clients in an operational industrial environment.”
Designed for working professionals, the programme consists of seven modules, comprising online training and information sessions where students will work in groups. Regular, in-person lecture sessions will be held at the GE Innovation Centre, in Melrose Estate, Johannesburg. The 49 students currently registered are from across the continent, with a large contingent from South Africa.
“The lectures are part of the three pillars. Firstly, the course focuses on data analytics, which includes the prerequisites of Python and statistics. Part of the analytics pillar is data management, manipulation and analysis, machine learning and Big Data.”
Thereafter, foundational technical skills, including innovation and entrepreneurship skills, will be developed to enable students to search for and recognise opportunities, as well as be proactive in the working environment.
The final pillar is the implementation of the projects, but with a specific focus on digital for industry and on projects that are aligned with industry.
“This is where the students will build a project for an industrial client, which is challenging and will test their grasp of the work,” says Collier.
He summarises the programme as “actionable learnings”. “We want the students to go to work on a Monday, take what they have learned and apply it in their jobs. We have to train enough professionals before we reach the tipping point in routine and daily data use in industry.”
While the programme runs for a year, prospective students can apply for various courses throughout the year, concludes Collier.