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A new Master's program in Data Science in Ivory Coast

École Polytechnique supported the creation of a new Master's program in the framework of a partnership between Orange, Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INP-HB, Yamoussoukro), École Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d'Economie Appliquée (ENSEA, Abidjan), and the Foundation of École Polytechnique.

A new Master's program in Data Science was inaugurated in Ivory Coast on November 23, 2017, during a ceremony organized in Yamoussoukro.

This two-year Master's degree offers an international level of excellence for students who wish to acquire knowledge in computer engineering based on new developments in the storage and processing of computer data. The courses will be taught at the new Data Science Institute by a teaching team composed of professors from INP-HB, ENSEA, l'X, as well as experts in their field. After graduation, participants will be able to occupy positions of data administrator, big data engineer, statistician analyst, data mining researcher, data analyst or data scientist.

École Polytechnique will assist INP-HB and ENSEA by providing these institutions with its educational expertise that it has acquired in Data Science by including this subject in its different academic programs since several years. L’X will participate in the program design and share some teaching aids, it will also support the documentation process. Professors of École Polytechnique will give courses and share their expertise and methodology in the field of Data Science.

A delegation from École Polytechnique led by its Provost Frank Pacard participated in this ceremony to launch a unique academic center in Ivory Coast, which aims to train experts in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence and big data. On behalf of École polytechnique, Frank Pacard presented the challenges and crucial issues of training and research in data sciences.

Stéphane Richard, CEO of the Orange Group, that gave technical and financial support to the project, was also present and took the opportunity to point out that Orange had a direct interest in having trained experts in Ivory Coast at the highest level, but beyond this interest the company wanted to support the general emergence of the sector as part of its missions of general interest. Stéphane Richard reiterated the interest for the African and world economy to treat and valorize the gigantic "deposits" of available data as a source of prosperity for the future.

The Minister of Communication, Digital Economy and Post and spokesman of the Ivorian government Bruno Nabagné Koné also had the opportunity to express his pride in seeing the first class of this Master in Data Science recruited from INP-HB, being himself an alumnus of this institution. He reminded that students admitted to this program of excellence would be able to support the profound changes in the economy related to digital and the use of massive data. The Minister also strongly encouraged all INP-HB students to take an interest in and learn about the use of new communication technologies, which are essential for their future professional integration.

"Data science is growing rapidly with an impact on business and government transformation. This exemplary partnership creates in Ivory Coast a very high-level program that allows a new training of experts in order to create innovative data analysis models that companies and administrations need to guide their decision-making ", said also Frank Pacard, Provost of École Polytechnique.

This operation is fully in line with École Polytechnique's strategy of integrating its partnerships in a spirit of excellence and innovation, in close contact with companies and with the ultimate objective of strengthening local academic and scientific capacity.