EDITORIAL: ICT needs specialised funding

As the country gears up for the second Transform Africa Summit slated for next month, the government has announced the latest of its many innovative ideas; e-Procurement.

As the country gears up for the second Transform Africa Summit slated for next month, the government has announced the latest of its many innovative ideas; e-Procurement.

Come next year, every government tender will be applied for online; no more bulky paperwork, but most importantly, no more physical contact between the parties that could lead to influence peddling or outright bribery.

The newest kid on the block is another indication that Rwanda has truly gone digital and it is now ready to share its experience with the continent.

Many in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry are eagerly awaiting the Transform Africa event. It is a chance for many startups to exchange technological ideas with their African counterparts.

While many policies were drawn up as a result of the first Transform Africa Summit in 2013, the coming one should take even bolder steps.

For example, the biggest obstacle to start-ups is funding as banks are reluctant to risk their money on ideas they have no guarantee will pay dividends.

This summit should come up with ways to go around the financial glitch, even if it means creating a “technological bank”, the same way other sectors, such as agriculture, are catered for. Upcoming ICT innovators would then find more accommodative partners who fully understand the importance of technology.

Such a financial institution would be a Godsend. We should not be afraid to think big, what matters is taking the first step.

 

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