New digital transformation centre ‘a relief to local tech innovators’

ICT and Innovation minister Paula Ingabire delivers her remarks at the opening of the centre in Kigali last week.Courtesy.

Germain Rwibutso, a 28-year-old software developer from Kigali and Chief Executive of Binary Earth, an Artificial Intelligence software developing company  has for a long time sought to build devices that could enable firms to collect data. However, this has been a challenge as there has been a shortage of facilities to enable him to do this.

Rwibutso is one of many developers, innovators and tech entrepreneurs that have been facing challenges to  turn their interesting ideas into cutting-edge transformative technological solutions due to lack of a well-stocked and facilitated innovation centre.

But with the new Digital Transformation Centre, Rwibutso and other Rwandan tech entrepreneurs can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the partnership between the Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, and Germany Development Agency (GIZ)

The digital transformation centre, which was officially opened on last week, among other objectives aims at creating space, 24/7 access to high-speed internet to innovators and providing an ecosystem (mentors, well-stocked hardware devices, latest software), that will enable to prototype, commercialise and expand their cutting-edge solutions.

The Centre was opened by Paula Ingabire, Minister for Information and Communication Technology and Innovation, and Gunter Nooke, Commissioner for Africa in Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Speaking at the inauguration, Ingabire lauded GIZ for the trust they have in the country’s vision of becoming an innovation hub for the continent and this is what has led to the establishment of Digital Transformation Centre.

Ingabire reckoned that technology development and innovation is one of the strategies the country is embarking on to transform the economy from agriculture based economy to a knowledge economy, driven by services.

Gunter Nooke said that considering that 60 per cent of the African population is made of the youth, digital transformation technologies can be a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive economic development and more vital for future prosperity for the region than anywhere else in the world.

Nooke congratulated the country for the strides it has made in technology development, especially being the first African country to adopt a digital transformative strategy, and promised that Germany will continue to work with Rwanda to achieve the desired outcome.

“Rwanda has made a tremendous effort in economic development, healthcare, education and being the first country to come up with a precise digital transformation framework, which is a sign of willingness of the country to leverage technology to transform its society for the better, and we continue working with the country to make this happen”, he said.

Nooke revealed that the centre is first of its kind in Africa and first of  eight such centres to  be constructed across Africa.

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