Construction works of an ICT Innovation Centre was launched on Tuesday at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC)-Kigali, in Kicukiro District.
The centre is designed to use technology to enhance local innovation capacity.
The facility is being constructed with support from Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) at a tune of $5.6 million (about Rwf 4.6 billion).
In addition to enhancing innovation, the centre will provide consultation services on ICT policies, business and job creation through ICT incubation.
While laying the foundation stone, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB)’s Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi, explained why the centre is crucial to Rwanda.
“Rwanda placed ICT at the centre of its policies as a cross sector enabler of accelerated growth to achieve the country’s transformational vision,” Akamanzi said.
Rwanda is working towards moving from a low-income agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based and service oriented economy.
Akamanzi said that for Rwanda to achieve the ambitious objective of becoming an ICT hub, it invited the Republic of Korea to be one of the its partners in ICT.
The objective of the partnership with KOICA is to strengthen the technological capabilities of Rwanda through training in ICT technologies and support to business start-ups.
“We thank our partner KOICA for leading the production of the master plan document for the centre and its implementation schedule, this will help us to ensure that all the preparations are completed on time,” Akamanzi said.
Kim Eung Joong, the Korean Ambassador to Rwanda, said the ICT innovation centre is one of the valuable instances of the various forms of support which Korea will continuously provide through KOICA to help Rwanda become a knowledge based society and create more off-farm jobs.
“ICT is an enabler not only in improving services but indeed the quality of life, it is also a catalyst for transforming the nation. That is why Korea has engaged itself in the development of ICT in Rwanda,” the envoy said.
The construction is set for completion in June 2018.