Rwanda’s broadband and digital public services ambitions has received a boost as the World Bank Group approved $100 million financing for the purpose. The new Digital Acceleration project is aimed at fast tracking government’s efforts to expand digital access and adoption by spearheading a series of innovative digital access and inclusion initiatives, including supporting 250,000 households with financing to acquire smart devices as well as training three million people in basic digital literacy (with targets for girls and women). The project is also expected to enhance the government’s digital service capabilities by equipping it with the ability to harness the power of big data and develop at least 30 new or upgraded digital services through large-scale investments in shared digital standards, platforms, and infrastructure. According to officials, this could enable the government to safely scale more fully transactional and remote service delivery, including enrolling and issuing new digital ID credentials to 75 percent of the population. The financier also hopes that the project will increase Rwanda’s capacity to support digitally enabled innovation by strengthening the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, developing Rwanda’s digital talent base and helping tech firms to move from startup to growth. At least 300 digital start-ups will be directly supported by the project, with a focus on those that are female-owned. Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda said that expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery as well as promoting digitally enabled innovation are prerequisites for Rwanda’s digital transformation. The project will also support Rwanda’s efforts to crowd in private sector investment to position the country for a data-driven and e-service based economy. “For Rwanda to leverage digital transformation as a driver of growth, job creation and greater service delivery, digital adoption needs to markedly improve. This project will help Rwanda tackle the affordability of digital devices and services, but also bridge lingering basic digital literacy gaps, to increase local demand for digitally-enabled services and platforms,” said Isabella Hayward, World Bank Digital Development Specialist, and Task Team Leader of the project. “The project will also support the government of Rwanda’s aspirations of providing 24-hour, cashless, paperless and fully transactional government-to-government, government-to-Business, and government-to-Person e-services both at the central government and sectoral levels,” she added. The project will be co-financed in the amount of $100 million by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which Rwanda is a non-regional member.