In a period of four year, government of Rwanda has invested more than Rwf26 billion in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector. This is in a move to have a knowledge based economy and a hub for ICT in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The investment, according to official documents benefited projects like the National ID project, SmartGov, government Internet connectivity, Kalisimbi project, the schoolNet project, the tele-center project and tele-medicine.
This was presented in a document called ‘Rwanda’ during the launch of African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2008 -2009 report at Serena Hotel by African Development Bank.
According to the document, as of 2006, ICT usage had penetrated to 80 percent of government institutions and over 60 percent of the private sector.
Finance and Economic Planning Minister James Musoni said the theme ’Innovation and ICT’ is timely as ICT is at the heart of development agenda in the government policy of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
“This year’s chosen topic of Innovation and ICT in Africa is one that suits Rwanda well,” said the Head of European Commission’s delegation David McRae.
Quoting the report, the ambassador noted prices of communications are generally higher in Africa than elsewhere but sees encouraging signs in the number of countries with an ICT regulatory agency.
ICT regulatory agencies in Africa increased from 26 in 2000 to 44 in 2007. The report suggests that governments should provide appropriate regulation which is the most important in ICT sector since most of the investment required can be mobilised by the private sector.
In an overview of the eighth report covering 47 countries, indicates that growth in emerging economies is expected to slow dramatically.
The AEO is a flagship report produced by African Development Bank jointly with Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The AEO report is widely recognised as a reference report with comprehensive analyses of economic, social and political development on the African Continent.