Nokia and ATU to speed up digital transformation and the knowledge economy in Africa

Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) to drive digital transformation and the knowledge economy for socio-economic development across the continent.

The two parties will leverage the power of telecommunications, including 5G networks, to connect the unconnected and identify innovative use cases, as well as business models.

In addition, the MoU will lay ground for both organizations to better help governments shape telecom policy, develop talent and promote inclusion and diversity. This includes women, as well as the underprivileged in both rural and urban areas.
 
The MoU was signed in Nairobi, Kenya, by John OMO, Secretary General at ATU and Rajiv Aggarwal, Nokia Representative and Head of Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia.
 
Announcing the partnership, Rajiv Aggarwal, Head of Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia, said: “We remain keen on supporting Africa’s digital transformation journey and by collaborating with the ATU, we strengthen this commitment. We will leverage our global technology expertise and insights on policy matters to positively impact the universal socio-economic development in the continent.”
 
Co-signing the MoU with Mr. Rajiv, John OMO, Secretary General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), said: “Our vision is to make Africa a full and active participant in the global information and knowledge society by enabling universal access to ICT systems and services across Africa. Collaboration with a global industry leader such as Nokia is therefore crucial in this regard and will help us accelerate towards a digital transformation and knowledge economy.”
The MoU framework is guided by six tenets designed to facilitate this acceleration. These are:
•    Sharing of best practices on telecom technology trends and developments
•    Identification of innovative industrial use cases toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution
•    Recommendation on implementation of emerging technologies and business models
•    Promotion of connecting the unconnected with broadband
•    Development of emerging talent for digital innovation
•    Promotion of inclusion and diversity

Nokia has a long history of collaboration with international organizations and bodies across the globe. Regionally in MEA, Nokia recently partnered with UN Women to promote inclusion and diversity in Middle East and Africa.

Nokia is also working with UNICEF as part of a shared-value partnership in Kenya to connect schools with broadband and empower children in rural as well as disadvantaged urban areas.

In November 2020, Nokia supported the Forge Academy in South-Africa with the launch of a fully inclusive artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory to help students to become entrepreneurs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the global digital economy.

www.nokia.com

www.atuuat.africa

Digital Transformation a Real Opportunity For Inclusive Growth in Africa, SAS

The digital economy, and with it an increasing demand for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) skills identified by the World Economic Forum in 20161, is here. And while there can be no doubt that digital transformation presents a massive opportunity for economic growth in Africa, it is critical to ensure that this growth is inclusive – and that it benefits women’s equality in the workplace, rather than harming it.

In context, according to the final draft of the ICT and Digital Economy Masterplan for South Africa2, anecdotal evidence suggests that South Africa’s digital economy is growing and contributing anywhere between 2% and 19% to the country’s GDP. Globally, the digital economy is expected to grow to 24% of the world’s GDP by 2025.

“This growth represents both challenges and opportunities for workers. Digitalisation means that, worldwide, women and men in low-skilled, routinised employment face a similar scale of potential job losses, while those in higher-skilled roles face similar gains. The key to realising these gains, at least for skilled women, is digital fluency,” says Leanne Gordge, Manager: Banking, Telco and Public Sector, SAS in South Africa.

Affirming this; an Accenture report released in 20163 stated that: “At the current rate of digital adoption, developed nations likely won’t achieve workplace gender equality until 2065, and developing nations until 2100. But if governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become frequent users of technology, we could reach gender equality in the workplace by 2040 in developed nations and by 2060 in developing nations.”

“If this 40-year reduction in time to achieve gender equality is to be realised, women will need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy. It is, therefore, critical to encourage and develop digital fluency from an early age for girls. However, there are still challenges to overcome in girls’ education, especially in Africa, to achieve this,” adds Gordge.

For example, the Girls’ Education and Climate Challenges Index, which SAS built with Malala Fund4, identifies countries where girls are most at risk of experiencing educational interruptions and predicts lowering of completion rates of girls’ primary and secondary education due to climate change.

The Malala Fund’s report highlights that when natural disasters occur, young female students are often more at risk of educational disruption than their male counterparts. Similarly, when access to water is scarce, girls are most often responsible for travelling long distances to collect water, keeping them away from the classroom. And, when temperatures rise and income-producing agriculture is lost, girls most often leave their schooling behind because families can no longer afford to pay educational fees. Based on the combined indices, the region most affected is sub-Saharan Africa, even though this region contributes the least to climate change.

Melissa Jantjies, Business Solutions Manager: Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, for SAS in South Africa, adds: “Another concern lies in automation in productive sectors in Africa, where women’s employment is particularly at risk.”

According to a report compiled for the South African Institute of International Affairs (amongst others): “Studies show that in specific female-dominated industries, technology will reduce jobs. The other misgiving in Africa is that the 4IR, like its antecedents, will further entrench gender inequalities. This is based on the observation that most women are unlikely to benefit from technological advances, as they do not possess the skills to compete in the emerging knowledge economy.”5

Jantjies believes that to achieve the approximated 40-year reduction in time towards true gender equality and inclusive economic transformation, there needs to be far more collective focus from Governments, educational institutions and private sectors on twin goals.

“The first must be on collaborative special programmes aimed at encouraging more young girls and women to pursue their education and career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Women have a vital role to play in leadership – in all tiers of society – and in contributing to development and socioeconomic transformation of Africa’s economies. Yet, they are still significantly under-represented in higher education in STEM,” says Jantjies.

Certainly, this is a global issue, where women make up 43% of the world’s PhD graduates6, but only 28% of researchers in all fields and only 30% of women in higher education pursue STEM fields. However, in Africa, this under-representation is accentuated by prevailing challenges of educational gaps, skills mismatch, and high rates of unemployment.

The second goal, Jantjies believes, is upskilling and reskilling people for a digital-first and data-driven environment. “In many respects, the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across numerous markets at a pace that previously may not have been conceivable. This has amplified challenges around skills shortages and mismatch globally – and coupled with remote working trends, it also means that people with highly sort after skills have more choice on where they want to live and who they want to work for. Together this is compounding the need to retain scares talent, while establishing special programmes to upskill and reskill people.”

“Interventions are needed to better secure talent pools, now and for the future. Clearly Governments, educational institutions and private sectors must make not only a concerted effort but tangible investment in ensuring young women have access to the digital economy if they are not to be left behind. We must ensure they know what skills are required to participate in the 4IR, how these can be applied in a variety of careers, and have access to learning opportunities and the technology needed to enter the digital economy,” concludes Gordge.

www.sas.com

Ecobank launches 2021 edition of its fintech challenge for African startups

The pan-African banking group, Ecobank group, is inviting African fintech entrepreneurs to join the 4th edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

The Fintech Challenge is in line with the Bank’s commitment to championing digitization by giving innovative African startups the opportunity to promote their fintech solutions. The startups can potentially partner with Ecobank to scale their solutions across Ecobank’s 33 African markets as well as its international operations in France.  

All selected Finalists will be inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship following the Finals and Awards ceremony slated for November 2021. The selected top three winners will receive cash prizes worth $15,000, $12,000 and $10,000 respectively. All Fellows will however qualify to explore the following opportunities with the bank:

  • Multinational product roll out: an opportunity to pursue integration with Ecobank and potentially launch products in parts of Ecobank’s Pan African 33-country ecosystem.
  • Service provider partnerships:  Ecobank may select start-ups as pan-African service partner within the bank’s ecosystem.
  • Access to Ecobank’s Pan-African Banking Sandbox: Fellows will be given access to Ecobank’s APIs to test and improve their products for the pan-African market.
  • Mentoring and networking support in the network of global and African partners of the Group.
  • Priority Access to Ecobank’s VC partners for funding exploration.


Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, reiterated Ecobank’s dedication to support innovation across the continent: “The global impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the dire necessity to digitize and transform banking operations. As a banking group, we are convinced now more than ever that innovation and technology are the future of banking and therefore reaffirm our continuous commitment to identify and support Africa’s brightest developers to promote their solutions and help improve our services through the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.”

The Challenge resulted in Ecobank successfully launching the Ecobank Investor App, originally developed by Finance Mobile, a startup from the 2017 Ecobank Fintech Fellows cohort. Following the successful rollout of the app in 9 Ecobank markets and currently launching in additional countries, Ecobank is working on finalizing other such partnerships with Fellows from the 2020 Fintech Challenge.

Tomisin Fashina, Operations and Technology Executive, Ecobank Group: “We are firm believers that Africa’s talent pool is enormous and requires specialized and targeted mentorships to fully crystallize and ready fintech startups for business engagements. Through the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, we are creating a learning experience through mentorship sessions with in-house, high-level technical teams and with our global partners to help shape and reshape the strategy and focus of African Fintechs.”

The Ecobank Fintech Challenge was designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by several partners across Africa and globally including ACCION, Catalyst Fund, Nedbank VC and Cellulant. Applications will close on 20 September 2021.

Applications have opened for entries from all startups and developers in any of Africa’s 54 countries and global Africa-centered fintechs. More information on the competition, benefits, and how to apply is available here.

www.ecobank.com

Google joins Smart Africa Alliance to drive digital transformation in Africa

Google has joined Smart Africa as a platinum member of the Alliance, advancing its commitment to the digital transformation of Africa.

The Alliance is tasked with defining Africa’s digital strategy to ensure socio-economic transformation and this is in sync with Google’s vision for Africa. Therefore, Google will contribute towards closing the digital gap through advancing digital skills development. Africa has a growing youth population which offers an unparalleled opportunity for development and economic growth. Therefore digital skills development is essential for Africa to develop.

In addition to skills development, Google will use its vast experience, competencies and networks to contribute towards Africa’s development of broadband connectivity, data governance and the ICT startups and innovation ecosystem which are all key initiatives that Smart Africa is undertaking. Google and Smart Africa will also work together towards promoting the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, promoting the innovative use of data, encouraging cloud technologies, promoting digital government and enabling an inclusive payments system.

With 32 countries under the Smart Africa Alliance, representing 815 million people across the continent, the partnership between Smart Africa and Google is well poised to make a significant impact on the vision of Smart Africa.

Google joins other international and African technology firms as members of Smart Africa including Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Microsoft, Facebook, Inmarsat, Liquid Telecom, Orange, Intel, Ericsson, Huawei and Tata Communications & Transformation Services. Smart Africa also partners international organisations such as the International telecommunications Union (ITU), the African Development Bank (AfDB), GSMA and the World Bank among others.

Google is focused on leveraging its expertise to help make advanced technologies available to more of the world’s citizens, regardless of geographic location. By creating innovative and accessible digital infrastructures and skills, Google and other organizations within the Smart Africa Alliance can lead the world into an era of advancement and sustainable development.

Together with other members of the Alliance, Google is committed to transform Africa into a single digital market.

www.smartafrica.org

Orange Mali and German Cooperation inaugurate 4th Orange Digital Center in Africa and the Middle East

Orange and the German Cooperation are inaugurating, an Orange Digital Center in Bamako, an ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation.

Following on from Tunisia, Senegal and Ethiopia, Mali will inaugurate the fourth Orange Digital Center in Africa and the Middle East. Spread over 1,557 sq.m, the Orange Digital Center brings together the four strategic programs of the Orange group, namely: a coding school (Orange Digital Kalanso), a FabLab Solidaire -one of the Orange Foundation’s digital manufacturing workshops -, an Orange Fab startup accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, the Orange Group investment fund. All of the programmes provided are free-of charge, open to all. They range from digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical, start-up acceleration, guidance for project bearers and investment.

Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East, says: “I am very proud to inaugurate the fourth Orange Digital Center in Africa today in Mali, which is part of the network of 32 Orange Digital Centers deployed in all the countries where Orange operates to support the startups. The main objective is to democratize access to digital technology for young people – with or without qualifications – giving them access to the latest technological trends to improve their employability and give young Africans the ability to write their digital future.”

Working as a network, the Orange Digital Centers allow experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offer a simple and inclusive approach to improve young people’s employability, encourage innovative entrepreneurship and promote the local digital ecosystem. Moreover, discussions are underway between Orange Mali and the Ministry of Higher Education for the digital transformation of universities in Mali. An Orange Digital Center Club will be installed in each university in the region, thus completing the system to give as many people possible access to new technologies and support in using them to their full extent.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility approach, Orange Mali wishes to support new ideas, which bring progress for all and in particular those that create economic value and jobs at the local level. This is why Orange Mali wanted to set up and support, in a partnership-based approach, initiatives that help accelerate this positive change. As the leading contributor to digital development in the country, Orange Mali supports the emergence of a creative, prosperous ecosystem that gives digital players the opportunity to create and develop. 

Orange and the German Cooperation by GIZ are working together as part of a development partnership within the develoPPP program, which GIZ is implementing on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The goal is to fulfil their shared vision: fostering youth employability – and access to ICT jobs for women and girls – while supporting sustainable growth and the country’s digital transformation. This joint project by Orange and GIZ is an example of successful cooperation between German Cooperation and the private sector.

Because digital technology must provide opportunities for everyone, this initiative fully embodies our commitment as a responsible operator and meets the following six sustainable development objectives: (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (8) decent work and economic growth, (9) industry, innovation and infrastructure, (10) reduced inequalities and (17) partnerships for goals.

So far, eight Orange Digital Centers have already been opened in the region: Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Morocco, and Mali. This means other inaugurations are still to come in 2021.

Brelotte BA, CEO, Orange Mali: “Orange Mali is truly committed to the digital transformation. Being the partner of the digital transformation makes us a leading player in the socio-economic development of the country thanks to innovative ecosystems and specific actions intended to develop entrepreneurship. The Orange Digital Center brings together all the necessary skills in a single place to illustrate Orange’s commitment to digital inclusion.”

Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has more than 130 million customers at of 31 March 2020. With 5.8 billion euros of revenues in 2020, Orange MEA is the first growth area in the Orange group. Orange Money, its flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has more than 50 million customers. Orange, multi-services operator, key partner of the digital transformation provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.

www.orange.com

Devotra offers Smart Classrooms for Technical Vocational Education and Training in Rwanda

The Smart Classroom Concept was originally designed in 2010 as part of the Kenya-The Netherlands TVET Project: “Rehabilitation and Upgrading of KTTC and 9 Regional Centers of Excellence (phase 1)”. In 2015 the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Directorate Technical Education) has reviewed the concept together with Devotra and the Smart Classroom was fully updated based on the latest concepts and technologies available.

The Smart Classroom will provide Rwandan TVET students with world-class learning facilities without any equivalents in the world. The Smart Classroom introduces a unique TVET teaching and learning concept, combining state-of-the-art technologies, software, simulations, experiments and hands-on practical education, making the 10 Centres of Excellence future proof for Rwandan students.

The Smart Classroom acts as an incubator area for ideas based on industry and labour market requirements. It will change students and teachers mind-sets and will bring innovation, spur creative and catalytic thinking, triggers students’ exploration skills, enhance problem solving based learning, and provide the opportunity to teach and learn design, programming and production skills.

The Smart Classroom improves the traditional TVET teaching at the 10 Technical Training Institutes that are working with it now, through further introduction of student-centred learning, interdisciplinary work, Competence Based Education and Training (CBET).

www.smartclassroom.nl

Samsung introduces 8nm process to improve 5G RF chips

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today introduces its newest radio frequency (RF) technology based on 8-nanometer (nm) process.

This cutting-edge foundry technology is expected to provide a ‘one chip solution,’ specifically for 5G communications with support for multi-channel and multi-antenna chip designs. Samsung’s 8nm RF platform extension is expected to expand the company’s leadership in the 5G semiconductor market from sub-6GHz to mmWave applications.

Samsung’s 8nm RF process technology is the latest addition to an already broad portfolio of RF-related solutions, including 28nm- and 14nm-based RF. The company has established its RF market leadership through the shipping of more than 500 million mobile RF chips for premium smartphones since 2017.

“Through excellence in innovation and process manufacturing, we’ve reinforced our next-generation wireless communication offerings,” said Hyung Jin Lee, Master of Foundry Technology Development Team at Samsung Electronics. “As 5G mmWave expands, Samsung’s 8nm RF will be a great solution for customers looking for long battery life and excellent signal quality on compact mobile devices.”

With continued scaling to advanced nodes, digital circuits have improved significantly in performance, power consumption, and area (PPA), whereas the analog/RF blocks haven’t enjoyed such an improvement due to degenerative parasitics such as increased resistance from narrow line width. As a result, most communications chips tend to see degraded RF characteristics such as deteriorated amplification performance of reception frequency and increased power consumption.

To overcome the analog/RF scaling challenges, Samsung has developed a unique architecture exclusive to 8nm RF named RFextremeFET (RFeFET™) that can significantly improve RF characteristics while using less power. In comparison to 14nm RF, Samsung’s RFeFET™ supplements the digital PPA scaling and restores the analog/RF scaling at the same time, thereby enabling high-performance 5G platforms.

Samsung’s process optimization maximizes channel mobility while minimizing parasitics. As the performance of RFeFET™ is greatly improved, the total number of transistors of RF chips and the area of analog/RF blocks can be reduced.

Compared to 14nm RF, Samsung’s 8nm RF process technology provides up to a 35-percent increase in power efficiency with a 35-percent decrease in the RF chip area as a result of the RFeFET™ architectural innovation.

www.samsung.com

DP World launches e-commerce platform in Rwanda

Trade enabler DP World has launched DUBUY.com, a global wholesale e-commerce platform. DUBUY.com is available first in Rwanda with plans to expand across Africa and around the world.

DUBUY.com adds digital trading corridors to the physical corridors DP World has built across the African continent with its investment in ports, terminals, and logistics operations. DUBUY.com is partnering with local businesses and the Rwandan Government to help unlock access to global markets for small and medium-sized local enterprises, using DP World’s end-to-end integrated supply chain services to fulfil orders for export and to receive goods.

The platform also enables global companies to find and serve new trading partners in Africa, opening access to fast growing markets.

Online marketplaces are a significant opportunity for economic growth in Africa which today accounts for less than 0.5 percent of global eCommerce according to the United Nations Conference on Development and Trade.

The combination of DUBUY.com with DP World’s physical logistics infrastructure and data-driven logistics solutions will solve some of the key challenges to the growth of eCommerce, including reliable fulfilment, secure financial transactions, and the movement of goods.

Pan African digital payments provider DPO Group has also been brought on board, bringing its extensive experience of supporting payments for businesses of all sizes across Africa.

Clare Akamanzi, CEO, Rwanda Development Board said, “DUBUY.com will make the previously impossible, possible, for many Rwandan entrepreneurs to trade with the UAE – and beyond. People and companies everywhere are turning to technology to fuel their post-pandemic recovery and improve access to global trade. World class eCommerce platforms backed by innovative, reliable logistical networks can lead the charge, transforming how business is done across the continent.”

DUBUY.com is the first online store created for all Rwandan licensed exporters, importers, and manufacturers. In Rwanda DP World has already invested in a logistics hub which offers container handling, cold chain, and bonded warehouses. DP World Kigali enables trade as a key gateway to the heart of Africa and connecting to Mombasa and Dar Es Salaam on the Indian Ocean. The addition of DUBUY.com will empower business owners in Rwanda and help realise the country’s vision of becoming a digitally enabled African economy, while also accelerating recovery from COVID-19.

Mahmood Al Bastaki, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Trade World, added: “DUBUY.com represents a new model of partnership with the UAE, designed to strengthen the existing potential in Rwanda, opening businesses and markets organically, by enabling trade and supplying innovation. This technology allows home grown businesses to become international manufacturers and exporters – by linking them with new markets in Africa, the Middle East and eventually the rest of the world. In Rwanda, this includes the promotion of valuable exports like tea, coffee, and horticulture, through a network which significantly upgrades the country’s supply chain logistics – both in urban and rural areas; as well as providing access to new digital tools that will help local businesses prosper. We’re not just building in Rwanda; we’re building with Rwanda – for Rwanda.”

Alongside DP World Kigali, DUBUY.com is partnering with the Rwanda Development Board, the National Agricultural Export Board, as well as industry associations representing coffee, tea, and horticulture. These relationships will help design and coordinate last-mile logistics solutions that reduce the cost of transport, cut delays, mitigate post-harvest losses, and increase farm family incomes.

The DUBUY.com platform offers a one-stop-shop, ensuring all transactions on the site are secure, from onboarding only trusted suppliers through to integrating leading payment service providers, like DPO Group.

There are pre-negotiated, heavily discounted shipping tariffs in place, with weekly console boxes moving between origin and destination with guaranteed transit times, incentivized shipping costs. The shipping methods are also customized according to the scale of each transaction and the urgency of shipments.

This all adds up to create a platform which is agile, responsive and will enable Rwandan entrepreneurs to fully benefit from the advantages of increased access to world markets.

www.dpworld.com

www.rdb.rw

www.dubuy.com

Access Bank partners with Exuus to financially empower collective saving schemes through SAVE

Access Bank (Rwanda) Plc in partnership with EXUUS LTD have introduced “SAVE 2.0” a digital solution that aims at encouraging people to save collectively as a group or even friends.

SAVE is a digital wallet for collective saving schemes that can be downloaded from Google play or Apple store as well as be accessed by dialing *777#. The users will be able to save collectively and get interest of 6% per year on their funds deposited into Access Bank Rwanda. Beyond savings, SAVE enables the users to lend each other at affordable rates and conveniently manage their loan repayments.

“Access Bank Rwanda is committed to delivering steady economic growth by
leveraging digital solutions to drive financial inclusion and improve access to finance through innovative offerings.” said Oluseun Onasoga, the Executive director of Business Development. He added that the partnership with EXUUS aims to foster the development of digital solutions that will cater to the financial needs of the underserved and unserved in the Rwandan Community.

“Looking back in 2016 when the first countrywide map for informal saving groups was published by BNR & Access to Finance Rwanda, little was known about their reach and impact.

It is gratifying that not only the same groups that were almost financially excluded are now linked with Telcos (MTN Mobile Money & Airtel Money) but even better linked with a world-class commercial bank like Access Bank.
We are forward-looking, as millions of Rwandans access a wide variety of formal financial services that were previously inaccessible and become more financially resilient as a result of this partnership” said Shema Steve, the CEO of EXUUS.

Saving within the SAVE app will enable the users to sustain themselves and their families. The minimum contribution of savings and social fund is Rwf 500.

rwanda.accessbankplc.com

Rwanda Improves Land Management Processes with GIS Technology

Begun in 2008, Rwanda’s land registration reform has fostered incremental improvements in the Rwanda land administration processes. The first version of LAIS helped support the initial collection and management of large amounts of land administration and legal data for the development of land-use plans at the national and district levels.

In collaboration with Kadaster International, RLMUA used the Esri ArcGIS to develop and deploy LAIS version 4.0, which is improving the current process of titling and certification of land throughout the country.

The land authority is responsible for implementing the National Land Tenure Reform Program, as provided by the National Land Policy and the law governing the land in Rwanda.

Over the last two decades, Rwanda has invested considerably in land administration. Most recently, the successful deployment of LAIS version 4.0 in 2019 and the adoption of Esri’s Land Administration Modernization Program (LAMP) have provided the country with advanced GIS technology and support to meet the evolving challenge of comprehensive land governance.

Esri’s LAMP is a grant program that allows resource-constrained countries and their cadastral agencies access to the Esri enterprise platform, supporting the upgrade to LAIS version 4.0 and mapping work.

“RLMUA got multiple benefits from implementing LAMP, such as providing better and [speedier] service delivery to the population, more consistent data; eliminated errors in land titles; and [provided] a better protection of the land titles [and] web map services, among others,” said Espérance Mukamana, director general and chief registrar of land titles, RLMUA.

The new system overcame technical challenges encountered in the previous LAIS versions by combining previously separated textual and GIS components into one system and better aligning with the current IT system’s security procedures. The new system also ensures alignment with the ISO 19152:2012 Land Administration Domain Model (LADM), which supports standardization and integration of land data.

LAIS version 4.0 now provides users with web access to up-to-date spatial data through mapping services, which can be shared seamlessly. It also integrates interactive national land data visualizations that share real-time statistics on land use through charts available on a central dashboard.

Additionally, the new system is enhancing transparency and providing users with the spatial tools and data they need to perform land-use analysis for their own land and, collectively, to better plan for the sustainable development of the country.

RLMUA has gained remarkable experience and results by using GIS for land management services, according to Mukamana, who says the technology has “led to a better understanding and implementation of the land management system and helped RLMUA achieve its targets efficiently.”

LAIS version 4.0 places Rwanda among the few countries on the continent with the level of advanced geospatial technology that can operationalize land administration and use capabilities while also enabling real-time monitoring of land rights and use for potential investments in the country. The entire system has proved to be a vital tool that informs decision-makers on any changes made to land-related transactions.

“This project represents a lighthouse for Africa,” said Sohail Elabd, Esri Global Business Development general manager, Middle East and Africa region.”Many governments are looking at ways to increase revenue through registration of land. Esri technology, provisioned through the LAMP, provides a set of out-of-the-box tools to do so. We are excited to be working with RLMUA to make this happen.”

rlma.rw