Rwanda is determined to achieve rapid economic development through information technology, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo has said.
Mushikiwabo made the remarks while speaking at the international conference on Cyberspace, held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on Thursday.
She noted that Korea has been where most African countries are coming from and it understands well the problems faced by the African continent.
The minister pointed out that there are two components that Rwanda can learn from Korea in order to attain its ICT development goals, of which the government has put high priority.
The first component is high-speed broadband, preferably mobile broadband. The second component is national computing power in the form of IT cloud services.
Citing various examples, Mushikiwabo pointed out that Rwandan companies and the people of Rwanda are now able to do business anywhere in the world due to Internet connection which has provided a considerable number of opportunities for the people, and translated into economic growth.
Cross border cooperation
“Young entrepreneurs are selling and buying homes. A mother in rural Rwanda can sell art crafts to a family in the Republic of Korea. Students in Rwandan schools can learn from teachers in Asia through videoconferencing or access study material from other parts of the world. And Rwandan nurses are now busy monitoring and collecting data on public health online while aggrieved citizens can file court cases online,” said Mushikiwabo.
She likened broadband to a highway over which cars and trucks travel.
“We believe the answer is in cross border cooperation, one that can provide us with access to technology and know-how coupled with interstate cooperation between strategic technology partners,” said the Minister.
She noted that Rwanda has established strong cooperation with the Republic of Korea and together have developed strong strategic partnership with a number of Korean corporations that are currently working with the country to roll out infrastructure at the pace required to achieve rapid development.
The two countries have developed excellent cooperation.
One of the areas is the operations of Korean telecom, which is seen as quick link to helping Rwanda in cyberspace enablement. Rwanda is jointly rolling out with Korea telecom a 4G LTE wireless broadband on top of the nationwide fiber optic network as the last piece of the puzzle in the country’s quest for high-speed broadband access.
The minister also informed participants that Rwanda will soon host a four-day high-level ICT conference called Transform Africa.
The conference which aims at mobilising the international IT community to set a new agenda for Africa to leapfrog development challenges through the use of broadband and related services is scheduled to take place in Kigali on October 28 and end on October 31.