The chicken, the egg and the hum of drones

A few weeks ago, social media was lit up with debate about unemployment in Rwanda. Some netizens were expressing frustration that numbers were being cooked as a ploy to attract good press.  Riding on these currents, some interlocutors lashed out at the government drone initiative with Zipline...

Friday, November 18, 2016, 12:00 AM

A call for Ms Geek and more women in technology

Today, April 28, 2016, is International Girls In ICT Day. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April every year since 2011, this day is meant to encourage girls and women to join careers in the ICT field.  And boy do we need more women pivoting the direction technology is taking our country:...

Thursday, April 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

Decoding the digital revolution for Africa

There is no better time to determine how we shall master the digital revolution, the question is how. On April 8, Professor Calestous Juma, reknown Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, hosted a Twitter Q&A session titled “How can Africa master the digital revolution?...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 12:00 AM

We took the Bible, now what shall we make of the seeds?

A FEW weeks ago I read an article in The New Times by Henry I. Miller, titled ‘The GMO Stigma’. This piece was carefully woven to advocate for GM (Genetically Modified) food –much like efforts by the US government to push African governments to accept GMOs through various efforts...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 12:00 AM

Hang up your car keys and take the bus (part II)

Last week my piece on transportation endeavoured to call for more efficient public transportation, particularly in the City of Kigali. I went ahead and got ambitious with my dreams by exploring the idea of making this improved public transit system intelligent. Reader feedback on the article...

Monday, December 16, 2013, 12:00 AM

Let’s hang up our car-keys and take the bus

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation” – Gustavo Petro, Mayor of BogotaThis is the second time I use this quote as part of my weekly column. This time around I will include another, “Mind the Gap...

Monday, December 9, 2013, 12:00 AM

Is Kigali sitting on a sewage time bomb?

A week ago I was at a restaurant (I will refrain from mentioning which one) when a waft of putrid, fetid air met my nostrils. I inquired after the sanitary conditions of a restaurant that cannot even keep their water closets clean, when I was casually informed that, “actually this area has a...

Sunday, August 25, 2013, 12:00 AM

Including teachers in the ICT formula for education

About three months ago a friend and avid reader politely requested that I get my head out of the ‘Education Pigeon Hole’ and write on more ‘savory’ matters. I made feeble promises but needless to say, I have failed miserably at extricating myself from the savory, if not...

Monday, August 19, 2013, 12:00 AM

Making a case for homegrown ICT solutions

Someone once asked me: “why are we trying to shove phones and ICT into Rwandans’ hands when what most of us really need, are the basic essentials like reliable water and education?”  It wasn’t the first time I was fired such a question but in this case I was mostly...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 12:00 AM

We cannot allow to be labeled a hungry nation

According to the Global Hunger Index (2012), Rwanda ranks second hungriest after Burundi in the East African region. That is terrifying and yet, unfortunately, not surprising. Given the trends in population growth, the rapidly-changing climatic conditions and poverty levels, it is natural that some...

Monday, August 5, 2013, 12:00 AM

We need to audit our IT systems

Rwanda has made a name for itself as a regional rising star in Information Technology. Across business and government, IT is changing operations: revolutionising banking and financial services to suit mobile and internet demand; e-Government services to citizens and businesses; and redefining...

Sunday, July 21, 2013, 12:00 AM

Making sense of Kigali’s parking services

An hour in Nairobi or Kampala traffic gives you immense pride to be Rwandan: the roads are smooth, the drivers mostly respectful and for the most part you can count on making it to appointments on time. It is the parking, however, that always confuses me! In some cases, one can only blame poor...

Monday, June 17, 2013, 12:00 AM

Need for open phone policy in public schools

On our list of accomplishments in education is the fact that hundreds of thousands of school children are now part of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme.Children in rural areas are now allowed a window to the world that they wouldn’t have had otherwise – unless they have...

Monday, June 10, 2013, 12:00 AM

Is it enough to stop at paper bags?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the menace of plastic bottles in Rwanda. A few days after that piece was run, I was impressed (if not a little amused) by the arrest of a fellow seized by authorities for smuggling plastic bags into the country.  As far as I know, Rwanda and Bangladesh are...

Monday, June 3, 2013, 12:00 AM

Yet another look at our universities’ relevancy

For whatever reason, it seems like the past few weeks our universities have been sitting on my mind; It doesn’t help that our institutions of higher learning are making repeated appearances in social conversation around me. This is hardly surprising given the link between these institutions...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 12:00 AM

Innovation through a different lens

I think the word ‘innovation’ has become that power point staple that over time has been ground, mixed and watered down to mean something synonymous with developing everything from writing 300 lines of code for a mobile app to engineering a solution for energy-efficient cooking using...

Monday, April 15, 2013, 12:00 AM

How Rwanda can become a medical tourist destination

I have been paying keen interest to all the ado about medical tourism in Rwanda and our ambitions to become a regional healthcare giant. My siblings and I were talking about this vision over dinner a few days ago and it became clear very quickly that despite our best intentions, it may be a long...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 12:00 AM

Microsoft4Africa Initiative should consider Rwanda

Africa is one of the most rapidly growing technology markets in the world. It is therefore no surprise that Microsoft instated its ‘4Afrika’ initiative a few days ago. As part of the mission to put smart devices in the hands of educators, students and SMEs, Microsoft has partnered with...

Sunday, February 17, 2013, 12:00 AM

Of dolls, toys and engineers!

As a toddler, and young girl, I liked my brother’s toy cars and what was left of his Lego set. With a considerable age gap between us, sooner than later, those cars were mostly lost, or damaged beyond repair (I am yet to find out what happened to the few Lego blocks). He had moved on to hip-...

Sunday, February 10, 2013, 12:00 AM

Spotlight on mental health emergency response systems

FACT: 80 percent of people with mental disorders in developing countries do not receive any treatment. A couple of weeks ago, I witnessed a sad sequence of events: a mid-30-year-old man fell into an epileptic seizure right in the middle of Rue Commerciale. Instead of passers-by rushing to pull out...

Sunday, January 27, 2013, 12:00 AM

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