Rwanda Launches Flagship Project to Drive Digital Transformation

Rwanda Development Board (RDB), on Thursday, launched its flagship project, Kigali Innovation City (KIC), a dynamic ecosystem of technology clusters in which domestic companies will innovate and deliver products and services for global markets, The New Times reports.

The launch was held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa, which concluded yesterday in Kigali.

“Kigali Innovation City is the Rwandan solution to Africa’s development, as it will enable technology innovation communities by allowing them to source highly skilled human capital locally,” Francis Gatare, the chief executive of RDB, is quoted as saying.

In a statement, RDB said innovation, the hallmark of economic productivity, will fuel Africa’s digital transformation from agrarian to knowledge-based economies.

This plan, the release said, is one of the key enablers that will help achieve Rwanda’s long-term vision of economic growth and social development.

The Kigali Innovation City model is structured on three interdependent platforms – human capital, innovation friendly financial capital, and digital innovation.

Gatare added: “The project was conceived to enable the digital transformation path in Rwanda, and I believe it is a model that can be easily applied across the continent to leap-frog into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Already operating in KIC are Carnegie Mellon University, the anchor tenant, and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. These, along with existing educational institutions such as the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, will help contribute to creating a critical concentration of engineers, mathematicians and scientists who are the heart of the human capital development.

Joining the KIC community are leading technology companies such as Swedish telecommunications giant Ericcson.

Ericcson is expected to steer the digital transformation with Rwanda Interoperability Solution, a national interoperability switch based on Ericcson M-Commerce Interconnect solution, that will connect financial and payment service providers to end users countrywide in real time through a range of digital payment options.

RDB says Kigali Innovation City is a reflection of the Government’s commitment to digital transformation as the driver of economic growth.

The flagship project, with an estimated value of $1.9 billion, will be constructed at Kigali Special Economic Zone.

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