Preparatory activities for the upcoming Transform Africa Summit, slated on October 19 in Kigali, are in high gear, with officials launching various platforms to ease participants’ early planning.
VIDEO: Registration for TransformAfrica 2015 kicks off. Source: The New Times/YouTube
The summit will be the second edition after the inaugural meet in 2013, and is expected to attract more than 2,500 delegates from across the world.
At least 10 African heads of state, leaders of government and heads of international corporations, are among the participants expected at the Kigali summit.
As part of the preparations, the Ministry of Youth and ICT, yesterday, launched online platforms to allow local and foreign participants receive regular updates and conveniently perform tasks such as registration and bookings.
The paperless process is part of the organisers’ aim to ensure that the large number of delegates is handled efficiently and that participants are in touch with organisers for any questions and inquiries.
While launching the platforms, www.transformafrica2015.org, and a QR scan code, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said this year’s summit would build from the previous summit’s impacts. It will be held under the theme, “Accelerating Digital Innovation.”
Among the conference’s objectives will be to offer a platform for dialogue and deal making between governments and the private sector on technology solutions and provide a space for young innovators from Africa to showcase their potential for creating homegrown innovations.
Nsengimana said the event will also showcase benefits and progress African countries have realised since the previous summit through partnerships with leading technology solution providers.
Rwanda is optimistic that the event will further boost growth experienced in the ICT sector in recent years in multiple ways such as attracting investors and developing skills in ICT-related fields.
Nsengimana said by hosting the event, the country will receive many prospective investors from across the world, with expectations that some of them will go on to pursue opportunities in the country.
“In this year’s conference there is a lot of interest from Asia, Europe and elsewhere,” Nsengimana said.
Tapping into opportunities
The conference is expected to contribute to the nation’s ambitions of becoming an ICT hub in the region. In this aspect, the minister said hosting the conference will signify the country’s strength in thought leadership and hub for investments.
The hospitality sector is also expected to benefit from the three-day conference.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) will be looking to ride on the summit to attract new ICT investments in the country.
Paula Ingabire, the head of ICT investments at RDB, told The New Times that since the previous summit, ICT investments in the country have shot to more than $150 million, with most of them directly attributed to the summit.
She said government will this time round strategically reach out to potential investors.
“We are targeting the various sessions, exhibitions, Business-to-Business matching where we will not only showcase opportunities, but incentives and support structures in place as well,” she said.
The government will also use the success stories in aspects such as Smart cities initiative to showcase possibilities in the Rwandan market.
Ingabire said the opportunities to be showcased will not be limited to Rwanda but the region and the continent at large.
The previous summit saw the adoption of a Smart Africa Manifesto that sought to put ICT at the centre of their planned socio-economic transformation.
Among other recommendations made in the previous summit were calls to African countries to enhance capacity to develop ICTs, roll out broadband, involve the private sector in the sector’s promotion, and promote cost-effective technology.