KIGALI - The Minister in charge of ICT in the Office of the President, Dr Ignace Gatare, has urged Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the area of information communication technology to make good use of the existing ICT infrastructure to offer better services.
He made the remarks, yesterday, during a meeting that brought together Rwanda Information and Communication Technology Association (RICTA) and ICT SMEs to share the industry’s opportunities and challenges.
The forum was organised by the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), through RICTA.
“The government invested heavily in ICT Infrastructure, now it is time for competitive and vibrant private sector players to tap into areas of e-Health, e-Learning, e-Commerce, e-Banking and e-Governance,” he said.
The minister also shed light to what he called enabling legal and regulatory frameworks which, he said, facilitates private investments in the ICT field.
“Despite the fact that tremendous achievements have been registered in the ICT sector, there is a need to streamline ICT at the grassroots level,” he noted.
Patrick Kabagema, RICTA president, observed that there was still a number of critical challenges facing the industry such as limited access to funds due to lack of sufficient collateral and limited interest from financial institutions.
“There is need to form an ecosystem for the development of the ICT SME’s sector using the already existing ICT infrastructure,” he stated.
Ignace Bacyaha, the IFC Senior Operations Officer, said the World Bank’s financing arm was rolling out two world-class management solutions, Business Edge and SMETK, to ensure that Rwandan ICT firms in various sectors are equipped with skills to increase their productivity and ability to access complex markets and finance.
“We want the private sector’s involvement in ICT to be efficient and effective”, he said.
During the meeting, Maurice Toroitich, the Managing Director of Kenya Commercial Bank-Rwanda, pledged to support viable business proposals in any sector.
Rogers Munyampenda, the CEO of Private Sector Federation, commended RICTA for its advocacy work, especially in helping its members get access to necessary training. He offered to build a strong PSF chamber on ICT matters.