Rwanda to host Africa education, ICT innovation forum

Rwanda will next week host a three-day conference on innovation in education and ICT dubbed, "Innovation Africa 2014."

Rwanda will next week host a three-day conference on innovation in education and ICT dubbed, “Innovation Africa 2014.”

The conference, organised by AfricanBrains, is due to kick off on November 18, and is expected to draw hundreds of scholars and 150 government officials across the continent.

Innovation Africa 2014 will see Africa’s leading ministerial and government decision-makers take part in discussions with industry investors for education, communications, publishing, teacher training and information technology.

So far, 25 countries have confirmed participation and, according to a patronage letter signed by the Minister for Education, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, Rwanda expects to learn a lot in terms of innovation from participating countries.

“Rwanda has made progress in ICT development but there is still a long way to go. We look forward to the opportunity to show-case Rwanda’s achievements and also learn from the experienced leaders and captains of industry to further that progress,” Prof. Lwakabamba said.

Delegates attending the conference will be joined by board level members from some of the world’s leading companies including HP, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Pearson and Samsung among others.

This is the fifth edition of Innovation Africa Summit, it was conceived and is organised by AfricanBrains, a division of the international Brains Network Group that is dedicated to bringing investment into education and technology through building public-private partnerships.

Previous summits were held in Morocco, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.

The choice of Rwanda

The Managing Director of AfricanBrains, John Glassey, said they wanted to bring Innovation Africa to Rwanda simply because it is one of Africa’s most innovative countries.

“Rwanda spends more on education as a percentage of GDP than the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average, has invested and continues to invest in ICTs, has a young population with a desire to learn new skills, to innovate and to become entrepreneurs,” Glassey said.

He said the other reasons that influenced their choice is that Rwanda is also the most connected country in Africa, has political and economic stability and a liberal free-market economy.