[Rwanda] The Internet Society Pledges to Expand Internet Access in Africa

As the Internet Society (ISOC) celebrates its 30th anniversary as a global nonprofit advocating for an open, globally-connected Internet, the organization is calling for accelerated action to further Internet development throughout the African region. During the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) 2022 taking place from in Kigali, Rwanda under the theme “Connecting the unconnected to achieve sustainable development”, Dawit Bekele, Regional Vice President of the Internet Society in Africa, lauded the progress made by stakeholders in expanding access throughout the continent, while encouraging more collaborative efforts to bridge the digital divide.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest growth in global Internet penetration, increasing from less than 1% in 2000 to 30% today.  Between 2019 and 2021 Internet use in Africa jumped by 23%. Despite this impressive growth, there is still a coverage gap of over 840 million people who don’t have access to reliable and affordable Internet access.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the value of Internet connectivity which has been an essential lifeline for the continuity of business, healthcare, education, government, and other critical activities. We applaud the significant investments in the last decades to develop Internet infrastructure, which have made the Internet available to more people across the continent. However, the pandemic also highlights the digital divide that remains, particularly in rural, remote and even urban areas around the world,” said Dawit Bekele.

In Kenya specifically, the rapid pace of Internet ecosystem development since 2012 underscores the critical role that Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and the accompanying infrastructure play in the establishment of strong and sustainable Internet ecosystems. The Internet Society has conducted technical capacity training on Internet routing technologies for network operators in Kenya and supported the development of community networks including TunapandaNET in Kibera, AHERI in Kisumu, and Lanet-Umoja in Nakuru. 

It’s through such initiatives and collaboration from the government that has propelled an increase of the number of internet users from 0.4% in 2012 to 41.9% of the population in 2020 with nearly 70% of traffic localized. Localizing Internet traffic has led to significant cost savings for participating networks and puts the country in a strong position to participate in the digital economy.

Community networks are a way to help address the digital divide.  They are communications infrastructures built, managed, and used by local communities and are a sustainable solution to address connectivity gaps in underserved regions. The Internet Society has a long history of working with communities worldwide to fund, build and train people with the skills needed to run and maintain community networks.

In Africa, the Internet Society has helped build community networks in South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Morocco, Senegal, and Ethiopia. 

At WTDC, the organization will be making a pledge to support 100 complementary solutions to connect the unconnected, and to train 10,000 people to build and maintain Internet infrastructure, all by 2025 as part of the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition, an initiative led by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that aims to foster meaningful connectivity and digital transformation in the hardest-to-connect communities around the world.

Also vital to expanding the Internet throughout Africa is the interconnection between local networks, content providers, and users. Currently, millions of dollars are spent every year to route local Internet traffic through expensive international links. This not only makes the Internet slower and more costly for Internet users, but it also limits the kinds of applications that can run on the local Internet. For this reason, the Internet Society has been at the forefront of supporting the establishment and growth of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) that enable and encourage local traffic.

ISOC research shows that IXPs improve the end-user experience, lower the cost of access, and stimulate the development of local Internet ecosystems and cross-border interconnections. By improving local Internet services and reducing their costs, well-managed IXPs open new worlds of possibility with modest investment.

Digital Cooperation Organization completes inaugural Rwanda Visit and launches Global Roundtable Series

A delegation from the Digital Cooperation Organization concluded the organization’s inaugural visit to Rwanda by announcing the DCO Global Roundtable Series, an initiative that will bring together global digital economy leaders to develop an action plan for digital prosperity for all.

During her participation at the World Telecommunications Development Conference, DCO Secretary-General Ms. Deemah AlYahya announced the DCO’s pledge to hold the DCO Global Roundtable Series across five continents, with the first edition of the series commencing on the African continent in Kigali. The event included more than thirty-five government, international organization and private sector leaders, discussing challenges to emerging market growth, and best-practice collaboration between governments, the private sector and civil society.

Ms Deemah AlYahya commenced the inaugural roundtable event by stating:

“Talking about digital economy issues is no longer something new. We must develop action plans and a roadmap to create an impact for people, and this is indeed what the DCO is doing. We are bringing together people who share the same responsibility, to translate their vision into on the ground change that advances the development of the digital economy of their countries.”

The inaugural Roundtable began with a discussion between Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of ICT, who hosted the DCO delegation. She commented:

“I am delighted to welcome the DCO to Kigali this week, and to share with them our pioneering achievements in the digital economy and ICT sector more generally. Since joining the DCO six months ago, Rwanda has played a pivotal role in the organization and we look forward to our continued membership of the wider DCO ecosystem as we shape a future in which all members of society can harness the power of the digital economy.”

Along the side lines of WTDC, the DCO also met with HE Usula Owusu, Minister of Communications in Ghana, where AlYahya and Minister Owusu discussed Ghana’s inspiring perspective on digital prosperity for all. Secretary-General AlYahya also met with the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies of South Africa, Khumbudzo Ntshaveheni, where they discussed their mutual efforts in enabling digital prosperity for all.

While in Rwanda, the DCO also met with Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as hosting entrepreneurs across the Rwandan ecosystem at Norrsken House. The DCO further met with the Bank of Kigali, kLab Rwanda, and Rwanda’s Information Society Authority. Secretary-General Deemah AlYahya also delivered an address to the Carnegie Mellon University Africa, the African Leadership University and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.  

Secretary-General Deemah AlYahya also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SmartAfrica, the alliance representing more than 30 African countries on their journey towards digital socioeconomic development and which is chaired by the President of Rwanda Mr. Paul Kagame. The agreement reaffirms the two organization’s shared commitment to promoting digital prosperity in their respective member states.

www.minict.gov.rw

www.dco.org

MTN Rwanda and Ericsson drive leading connectivity solutions for Rwanda’s progress

MTN Rwandacell (MTN Rwanda) Chief Executive Officer Mitwa Ng’ambi met with Ericsson’s Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Strategy, Erik Ekudden, on the side lines of the annual Broadband Commission meeting where they discussed their long-term partnership. Over the years, this partnership has seen the establishment of various services and products within MTN Rwanda and Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd closing the digital divide and propelling financial inclusion.

MTN has been working with Ericsson on enhancing consumer experience through Ericsson’s Managed Services Solutions. One of these services includes MTN’s modernized Network Operating Centre (NOC) that has been implemented to manage end-to-end monitoring of MTN network. Through the NOC, MTN Rwanda’s Network Operations Center and the Incidents Management tools are automated, improving network operations efficiency and boosting customer experience.

Mitwa Ng’ambi, MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer stated “Ericsson has been a close and prominent partner over the last two decades in Rwanda.  Their services have enabled us to pivot from product to platform, aligning seamlessly with our overarching strategy to provide the largest and most valuable platforms by delivering on 100% network coverage, and bridging the digital and financial gaps currently present. We look forward to achieving these ambitious targets for the betterment of our customers and stakeholders because we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.”

In addition to telecommunication services, Ericsson has enabled Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd with a platform for digital financial services such as Basic services (P2P, Cashin, Cashout & Airtime Purchase) and Advanced payments (MoMoPay, OpenAPI), Loans & Savings, Bill Payments and Remittances.

Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Strategy, said “We are proud of the relationship we’ve built with MTN Rwanda and the opportunities we’ve had to be part of the nation’s social and economic progress. We’ve collaborated on a number of initiatives that ranged from network modernization to enhancing consumer experience. We remain ever committed to continue working together on exploring solutions that increase social and financial inclusion here in Rwanda. Together, we can accelerate the nation’s digital transformation journey.”

This mutually beneficial partnership continues to steer MTN Rwanda’s digital transformational journey by providing innovative technologies and ecosystems that also consist of socioeconomic development for the communities we serve.

www.ericsson.com 

www.mtn.co.rw 

Ericsson Innovation Awards 2022 invites university students to tackle sustainability challenges

Ericsson is inviting university students the world over to propose innovative technology solutions to help tackle sustainable development challenges. Impact Our Sustainable Future is the theme of the Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA) 2022 challenge, with more than EUR 50,000 in prizes up for grabs.

Heather Johnson, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, says: “There are less than 10 years until the conclusion of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and it will take a collective effort from all sectors of society to achieve them. Ericsson is a champion of the role technology and innovation can play in scaling sustainable development efforts.

She adds: “University students around the world are among the most passionate and determined advocates of the need for action to meet global sustainability challenges. That’s why we’ve chosen sustainability as the focus of this year’s Ericsson Innovation Awards to help catalyze action.”

Participating university teams are asked to take inspiration from the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to identify a sustainability challenge to tackle with a technology solution that can make a lasting change.

Interested teams of two-to-four students currently enrolled in university studies should submit team names and ideas by 13.00 (CEST), August 5, 2022.

As an extra incentive, the first seven submissions per region as of 13.00 (CEST), June 16, 2022, will have the opportunity to access extra support and feedback from Ericsson mentors.

Johnson adds: “Imagination is the only limit to the range of ideas that can be submitted. From past Ericson Innovation Awards’ experiences, we know that university student talent is exceptional in proposing and developing creative solutions.”

Prizes

Overall winner: EUR 25,000
As a Nobel International partner, Ericsson will also offer the winning team the opportunity to join a virtual conversation with a Nobel Prize laureate.

Overall runner-up: EUR 15,000
Overall third place: EUR 5,000

Social Media Prize: EUR 2,000
The three finalists’ ideas will be uploaded to @inside_ericsson Instagram. A public vote – in the last 24 hours before the Grand Finale – will determine which team who wins the EUR 2,000. 

Regional winners
Each of the seven regional winners will receive EUR 1,000.

In some cases, additional special recognition and prizes will be offered from the respective region.

The 14 semi-finalists, including the regional winners, will receive eight weeks of comprehensive mentorship from Ericsson experts in innovation and business, as well as recognition on Ericsson’s social and digital media channels.

Further details, including registration information, is available on the Ericsson Innovation Awards site.

www.ericsson.com

Google announces 30,000 scholarships under African developer scheme

Opportunities for software developers in Africa are at an all time high, according to the 2021 Africa Developer Report by Google and Accenture, opportunities for software developers in Africa are at an all time high, driven primarily by the booming startup ecosystem and the global demand for remote work. Local businesses are also contributing to this demand as they seek to hire more developers to help them build a better online presence.

The report also looked at ways that technology companies can accelerate access to these opportunities through education and training programs that improve on job readiness. At Google we have been supporting developers in Africa through community and training programs for over 10 years. Today, there are more than 180 active developer communities in 30 countries across Africa. These local developer communities provide developers with the opportunity to connect, learn and grow together. The research report showed that nearly 1 in every 2 developers in Africa has been through a Google developer training or community program.

Mampho and Christopher are two software developers based in Johannesburg and Lagos respectively who have graduated from the Google Africa Developer Scholarship program. They both heard about the opportunity online and decided to apply for the Google Cloud learning track. After completing the training, they went a step further and took the Associate Cloud Engineer certification. This has enabled them to be more productive at work, and opened up a world of new opportunities for them. To quote Mampho, “The GADS program empowered me, and showed me that I could be a world class developer”

Google is announcing an additional 30,000 Android and Google Cloud​​training opportunities for aspiring and professional developers in Africa. «We are pleased to be partnering with Andela and Pluralsight on this program for the 5th year in a row, continuing our commitment to Africa’s developer ecosystem.» Developers selected for the program will gain access to carefully curated training content and hands-on learning experiences. They will also access a pan-African network of peer learning groups and community mentors who will guide them on the learning journey.

Follow this link to apply for the scholarship.

africa.googleblog.com

Google Translate learns 24 new languages

For years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world. And we want to make this possible for even more people — especially those whose languages aren’t represented in most technology. So today we’ve added 24 languages to Translate, now supporting a total of 133 used around the globe.

Over 300 million people speak these newly added languages — like Mizo, used by around 800,000 people in the far northeast of India, and Lingala, used by over 45 million people across Central Africa. As part of this update, Indigenous languages of the Americas (Quechua, Guarani and Aymara) and an English dialect (Sierra Leonean Krio) have also been added to Translate for the first time.

Here’s a complete list of the new languages now available in Google Translate:

  • Assamese, used by about 25 million people in Northeast India
  • Aymara, used by about two million people in Bolivia, Chile and Peru
  • Bambara, used by about 14 million people in Mali
  • Bhojpuri, used by about 50 million people in northern India, Nepal and Fiji
  • Dhivehi, used by about 300,000 people in the Maldives
  • Dogri, used by about three million people in northern India
  • Ewe, used by about seven million people in Ghana and Togo
  • Guarani, used by about seven million people in Paraguay and Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil
  • Ilocano, used by about 10 million people in northern Philippines
  • Konkani, used by about two million people in Central India
  • Krio, used by about four million people in Sierra Leone
  • Kurdish (Sorani), used by about 15 million people in Iraq and Iran
  • Lingala, used by about 45 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola and the Republic of South Sudan
  • Luganda, used by about 20 million people in Uganda and Rwanda
  • Maithili, used by about 34 million people in northern India
  • Meiteilon (Manipuri), used by about two million people in Northeast India
  • Mizo, used by about 830,000 people in Northeast India
  • Oromo, used by about 37 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya
  • Quechua, used by about 10 million people in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and surrounding countries
  • Sanskrit, used by about 20,000 people in India
  • Sepedi, used by about 14 million people in South Africa
  • Tigrinya, used by about eight million people in Eritrea and Ethiopia
  • Tsonga, used by about seven million people in Eswatini, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe
  • Twi, used by about 11 million people in Ghana

This is also a technical milestone for Google Translate. These are the first languages we’ve added using Zero-Shot Machine Translation, where a machine learning model only sees monolingual text — meaning, it learns to translate into another language without ever seeing an example. While this technology is impressive, it isn’t perfect. And we’ll keep improving these models to deliver the same experience you’re used to with a Spanish or German translation, for example. If you want to dig into the technical details, check out our Google AI blog post and research paper.

We’re grateful to the many native speakers, professors and linguists who worked with us on this latest update and kept us inspired with their passion and enthusiasm. If you want to help us support your language in a future update, contribute evaluations or translations through Translate Contribute.

blog.google

[Interview] Gerald Begumisa, Managing Director, Yo Uganda Limited

Yo Uganda Limited is a fintech company that is revolutionizing the payment landscape in East Africa. The Managing Director Gerald Begumisa discusses the firm’s model, partnership and plans to redefine the payments space in Africa.

You recently received the Payment System Operator License from Bank of Uganda. Tell us more about that and what it portends for You- Uganda?
The fintech space, or generally speaking, digital financial services have experienced tremendous growth in the last few years in Uganda.  Thinking back from 2009 when the first mobile money service was introduced, there have been significant strides which have pushed the barriers and seen accelerated adoption of the services.

I would say that the fintech industry in Uganda has been fortunate to have had a permissive style of regulation which promoted and encouraged innovation, while at the same time providing guidelines and developing appropriate regulation. Financial services are fairy sensitive in any country, and with the great growth and adoption came the need to establish regulation to ensure that the services were being offered in a safe way which protects consumers and guarantees the integrity of the overall financial system.

Speaking for Yo!, we are very fortunate to have entered the market early (we were the first mobile payments aggregator in Uganda), and thus have has the opportunity to test various solutions and learn along the way. We expect that with the license we have, there shall be accelerated adoption of services since an oversight framework has now been put in place to ensure consumer protection and quality services.

Who are your clients?
We have a very wide range of customers, from the pharmacy around the corner, to supermarkets and some of the largest financial institutions in the country.

What do you consider your greatest selling points as a payment service provider?
We have greatly benefited from our ability to listen to what our customers, and potential customers are saying and act quickly to create solutions to solve their problems.

In 2010 you introduced the Payment Gateway service, Yo! Payments. How has the service evolved and what has been the market response?
The Yo! Payments Gateway was initially created to facilitate disbursement and collection of funds primarily through online channels i.e web.

Since then, it has since evolved to include access through mobile channels (mobile apps and USSD), banking integration, international remittances and a host of features.

The customers’ response has been remarkable as we carried out customizations to fit the various segments, essentially addressing their needs, and accelerating their uptake of our services.

How has COVID-19 affected your business?
Yo! has seen an increase in customers accepting online payments, which can be related to the fact that customers still had to find a method to keep their businesses running during the lock down. Customers who were previously sluggish about adopting online payments, now have began to view it as a mission critical component of their operation.

How is the financial inclusion situation like in Uganda and what is Yo-Uganda doing to enhance financial access especially among the unbanked and underbanked people?
In recent years, Ugandans’ access to financial services has dramatically increased, with a growing proportion of people owning a formal financial institution account which means individuals and businesses today have access to useful and inexpensive financial goods and services that fulfil their needs like credit, insurance, payments, savings and transactions that are offered responsibly and sustainably.

Yo! is therefore using this as an opportunity to actively alter the Ugandan ecosystem’s architecture by connecting conventional incumbents like banks and regulators with end-users like small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and thanks to the many technologies established, SMEs can also interact with one another in a seamless manner.

More to this, Yo! has partnered with various international organizations such as Mastercard and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to drive financial inclusion in agricultural value chains.

What is the greatest threat faced by the African payments industry?
The digital financial literacy gap between those who are and those who are not has accelerated and grown as a result of COVID-19, resulting in a growing competitive divide between firms and across industries, regions, and territories.

What in your opinion is the place of fintechs and payment system operators in driving economic growth in East Africa?
In my opinion, the place for fintechs and payment system operators is in creating, promoting and accelerating usage of a digital market place for various online products and services.

This is simply because they boost productivity, create economic opportunities, improve access to financial services thereby driving financial inclusion and reducing income inequality in East Africa.

How has regulation of the financial system in Uganda shaped the industry over the years?
In 2009, Uganda’s first mobile money service provider entered the market, quickly followed by ourselves, as Uganda’s first mobile money aggregator in 2011. Mobile Money Guidelines were announced in 2013, resulting in providing a loose framework to streamline operations of mobile money services.

The Financial Institutions Act of 2004 was amended in 2017 to add agent banking provisions, and the Data Protection and Privacy Act of 2019 was enacted in 2019. The National Payments Systems Act of 2020 was enacted in 2020, and the first fintech licenses were issued to ensure that both Fintechs and their consumers are safeguarded while conducting business, and creating a new regime of trust in fintech services.

What opportunities do you see in the digital finance space and how can African nations take advantage of them?
Through mergers and acquisitions, fintechs have a great opportunity to expand their digital footprint globally.

What are the growth plans for Yo Uganda?
Yo! aims to strengthen our current business strategy while also emphasizing the benefits of adopting our Yo! products and services, as well as international expansion.

Any latest news from your company?
We’re proud to announce a milestone in our partnership with Mastercard and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) where we have on-boarded more than 200,000 farmers to the Mastercard Farmers Network (MFN) platform. We are excited about this achievement because we believe MFN, integrated with Yo! Payments provides a strong platform for digital inclusion, and we look forward to increased usage of our digital services in the agriculture sector, the largest contributor to Uganda’s GDP.

www.yo.co.ug

Market creating-innovation bootcamp opportunity for Rwandans

We’re excited to announce that the session of the Market-Creating Innovation Bootcamp from The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT, the Clayton Christensen Institute, and Ventures Platform is happening in Rwanda on 2022 June 27, 28 & 29.

The Market-Creating Innovation (MCI) Bootcamp is an eight-session learning program designed to empower innovators with principles and frameworks necessary to create new markets that make products affordable. The MCI Bootcamp is best suited for early-stage entrepreneurs with an operating business. The Bootcamp curriculum will be taught over a three-day period. Following the Bootcamp training, participants will join a network of market-creating innovators across Africa and have access to customized learning sessions with experts and entrepreneurs.

Application Deadline: May 16, 2022

Boot-camp: J2022 June 27, 28, 29

Bootcamp Participant Eligibility Criteria / Target Audience:
 Early-stage entrepreneur with established business or idea
 Willingness and eagerness to learn
 At an early enough stage in their venture where they can apply the lessons to their business model (seed stage)
 Founder or top management team member. We encourage Founders to apply and participate.
 Venture is operating in Rwanda, candidate can be Rwandan citizen or resident
 Ability to participate in sessions over 3 days
 Fluency in English

 If you have questions, please contact the MCI Bootcamp team at  mci.bootcamp.help@minict.gov.rw

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

www.minict.gov.rw

[Rwanda] CcHUB and Google unveil 9 Startups selected for the Fintech Incubation Programme

Nigeria’s technology innovation centre Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) in collaboration with Google, Ministry of ICT and Innovation Rwanda, and Mojaloop Foundation has announced the nine startups selected for the Fintech Incubation Programme. 

The Fintech Innovation Project which consists of the Fintech Incubation Programme and other developmental programmes is a part of the ongoing efforts to turn Rwanda into the Fintech hub for Africa with Mojaloop as the national payments switch. The programme aligns with Rwanda’s ambition to drive inclusive economic development by leveraging technology.

The selected startups are

  • KudiBooks; a payment and accounting software for non-finance and non-accounting professionals targeting SMEs across Africa. They help users send and receive payments from their preferred financial institution within Kudibooks.
  • Food Bundles; is leveraging digital technology to improve market links for smallholder farmers and meet the growing demand for fresh food produce. The platform helps farmers participate in e-commerce, get paid on their mobile money, and more! 
  • Quiqpay; is leveraging digital technology to improve market links for smallholder farmers and meet the growing demand for fresh food produce. The platform helps farmers participate in e-commerce, get paid on their mobile money, and more! 
  • Bafana.io; This amazing startup is giving over 1200 African artists and creatives a personal page where they can easily share their work and a digital wallet to collect tips/payments from their fans around the world.
  • Uplus Mutual Partners (Uplus); is a digital group financing platform where people can efficiently raise funds and savings with their family, friends, and colleagues. 
  • PesaChoice; is a financial technology company that focuses on data-based lending. The startup offers short term loans without the requirement of collateral.
  • CentWise; aims to unlock financial access for micro traders such as street vendors and hawkers by building alternative collateral products. The company converts financial data into bankable profile insights.
  • PayingTone; is a marketplace that provides ecologically trackable products and services on credit. The platform brings a digital product passport technology to enable a gamified ecological footprint tracker for recurring consumption customers.
  • Exuus; is a FinTech company working towards achieving universal financial inclusion for both the unserved and underserved through technology. The company’s flagship product SAVE is a digital & inclusive wallet that allows users to manage both their savings (individually and/or in saving groups) and spendings.

Over the next three months, CcHUB will be supporting the teams to achieve product stability and scalability, market readiness and investment. They will be able to leverage mentorship from industry and domain experts while taking advantage of Google products and Mojaloop.

This first cohort of the program will conclude with a demo day in July, 2022 where the startups will present to investors through the CcHUB syndicate. 

cchubnigeria.com

Rwanda launches Fourth Industrial Revolution Center

The Rwandan government has consistently and deliberately worked to nurture progressive technology-oriented ideas from its youthful population.

In 2019, the country launched a locally built-from-scratch high-tech smartphone, the first of its kind in Africa.  Made by the Mara Group, the Mara X model and the Mara Z model became the first smartphones fully built in Africa.

The recent launch of Center for The Fourth Industrial Revolution(C4IR) marks yet another milestone for Rwanda’s technology space. The Center is expected to accelerate the country’s digital uptake by acting as a hub for innovation and growth.

“The vision of this centre is to shape the trajectory of Rwanda’s digital transformation through progressive technology governance that is agile and human-centered, in order to respond to the most pressing challenges for us as a country and for the broader benefit of Africa. “ Said Paul Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation.

The project was undertaken in partnership with the World Economic Forum(WEF), part of its mission being to help in the formulation of the country’s laws and policies regarding artificial intelligence.

“The launch of this center is enabled by investments that we, as a country, have been making in science and technology. I hope the centre will build on this by making the Fourth Industrial Revolution an equalising force, and contributing solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges. We are very happy to have the World Economic Forum as a partner in this crucial and other endeavours,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame during the launch of C4IR.

Rwanda has seen substantial growth in its technology uptake, making it a competitive hub for investors. Efforts by the government and its partners to support innovation have seen a sharp rise in innovative products meant to solve various challenges for the country and the continent.

“Our continent has a unique competitive advantage which stems from an undeniably entrepreneurial spirit that is built-in to our young generations.” Said Ingabire. “Through focused investment and policymaking, we can harness this spirit to solve problems that address underserved communities who make up the majority of the world’s population.”

www.c4ir.rw