ICT in Rwanda
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a central engine to driving Rwanda’s transformation to a knowledge based economy, a fact Rwanda has acknowledged by allocating a budget to ICT - as a percentage of its GDP - that is at par with OECD countries.
Rwanda continues to be one of the fastest growing African countries in ICT and there are several avenues for growth for the ICT sector – from e-commerce and e-services, mobile technologies, applications development and automation to becoming a regional center for the training of top quality ICT professionals and research. A robust ICT industry can create wealth, jobs and entrepreneurs.
Named East Africa’s number one ICT nation by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rwanda has benefited from ICT-based investments by lucrative international players such as Microsoft, Nokia, Visa and Terracom.
While the Vision 2020 framework addressed agricultural, industrial, and social elements as well, Rwanda’s lack of port access, inflated airfreight rates, and surrounding instability provoked the Rwandan government to invest in a knowledge-based economy with ICT as its cornerstone.
Launching programmes in scientific research and education, technological innovation, and telecommunications distribution, Vision 2020 aimed to produce “highly-skilled scientists and technicians to satisfy the needs of the national economy” that would be integrated into the larger framework of economic and social development for the greater Rwandan population.