Rwanda took part in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting hosted in Davos, Switzerland, from January 15 to 19 under the theme, “Rebuilding Trust”. The four-day forum convened over 2,800 leaders and experts, including prominent figures from the business, political, academic, and civil society realms to navigate the complex global landscape and at the same time seek solutions to pressing challenges. Throughout the event, Rwandan officials participated in discussions and launched initiatives, especially in the sectors of technology, business, and the economy. ALSO READ: Kagame attends World Economic Forum Below, we outline four key insights derived from this high-level meeting: Kagame’s engagements with top leaders, business personalities While attending the WEF Annual Meeting, President Paul Kagame met with several leaders and business personalities. On January 16, Kagame met with Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky and discussed the ongoing situation in Ukraine and efforts to resolve the conflict. The Head of State also met with Jakob Stausholm, CEO of mining giant Rio Tinto, for a discussion on partnerships and investment opportunities in Rwanda’s mining sector. Rio Tinto, a global leader in the exploration, mining, and processing of minerals such as aluminium, copper, and lithium, has previously expressed interest in investing up to $7.5 million in the Rwandan sector. Furthermore, on the sidelines of WEF, the President met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for a discussion on “ongoing cooperation to ensure sustainable peace in the region by addressing the root causes of the conflict.” Their meeting followed a visit to Rwanda by Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence in November 2023. ALSO READ: DR Congo crisis: Kagame, Blinken discuss deteriorating security situation Kagame also received Makhtar Diop, the Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). They discussed Rwanda’s partnership with the IFC as a key partner in the country’s economic transformation. Other dignitaries the President had discussions with include Jean Todt, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, where they exchanged on the need to strengthen the global partnership for safe and sustainable mobility for all; Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, on the ongoing investments through Airtel Rwanda, including the partnership with Reed Hastings which is providing access to affordable smartphones and data to over 50,000 citizens; as well as Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the CEO of Dubai Port World, one of world’s leading providers of innovative end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions. According to Village Urugwiro, they discussed opportunities for investments and the continued growth of the Kigali Logistics Platform. In March 2023, the platform inaugurated its expansion phase including three spacious warehouses and other facilities on an additional 7.5 hectares. Launch of Timbuktoo Timbuktoo, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) innovation financing facility, which will be headquartered in Kigali, was officially launched on January 17 during the WEF Annual Meeting in the Swiss town of Davos. The initiative is expected to be hosted at the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC), and aims to invest over $1 billion in catalytic and commercial capital over the next 10 years. The aim is to build a distributed innovation network of eight pan-African hubs located in key ecosystems. Under the development, over 1,000 start-ups are targeted from across the continent, as part of UNDP’s efforts to spark Africa’s start-up revolution. Announcing high-level summit on AI During the WEF Annual Meeting 2024, the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, announced that Rwanda will host a high-level summit on artificial intelligence (AI) in Africa. The summit will be hosted at the end of 2024 by the Centre for Industrial Revolution Rwanda (C4IR Rwanda) in collaboration with WEF. It will convene government and business leaders as well as experts from academia and civil society, to engage in a focused and collaborative dialogue on the role of AI in shaping Africa’s future. Under the theme, “AI and Africa’s Demographic Dividend: Reimagining Economic Opportunities for Africa’s Workforce”, the summit seeks to align African countries on common risks, barriers, and opportunities and devise a unified strategy for AI in Africa. ALSO READ: Regulating AI is not through abreast paranoia but regulatory realism Launch of C4IR AI fellowship programme Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Rwanda (C4IR Rwanda) and their United Arab Emirates counterpart (UAE C4IR), on January 18 during WEF 2024, the C4IR AI fellowship programme was launched. The platform aims to bridge the gap between Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry leaders, innovators, and experts across the globe. It seeks not only to share knowledge but also collectively address the challenges facing AI implementation and policy, steering the future direction of AI for a more inclusive and sustainable world. ALSO READ: Rwanda launches centre for fourth industrial revolution More centres from around the world are expected to join the programme to create a global, interconnected community of AI practitioners.