Editorial: Innovation City will be the new El Dorado

In 2020, Africa is expected to overtake Asia as the fastest urbanizing continent and in order to wade through the new challenges, it will have to rely heavily on technology.

Smart cities are already in the pipeline for many African countries to emulate Silicon Valley in the US. Kenya has Konza City, also known as “Silicon Savannah, Nigeria has Yabacon Valley and Rwanda’s answer in Kigali Innovation City, a $1.9 billion flagship project that seeks to catapult the country into a knowledge-based economy.

The City which is slowly starting to take shape, and the government, well aware that its ambitious IT revolution will need more than just money and brains, has started to bring on board the private sector. So it is encouraging that it has decided to create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to accelerate implementation of the Innovation City.

The SPV will seek to attract private investors into the Innovation City which will soon be the new investment frontier that our local investors and IT innovators will have to look at closely. On top of that, to help startups and those who seek a foothold in the sector, Rwanda Innovation Fund will be unveiled later this year.

The initial $100 million fund is part of Smart Rwanda Master-plan that seeks to create at least 100,000 jobs. This is the time for smart investors to get on board otherwise any delay might catch many late comers in heavy traffic.

 

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