GASABO - President Paul Kagame has challenged local investors to borrow a leaf from foreign companies investing in Information Communication Technology (ICT) ventures in order to facilitate the country’s development.
He said this yesterday while officiating at the official launch of Chinese owned Star Africa Media at Jali hill in Gasabo district.
“This is a challenge to local investors to always look for partnerships with these foreign companies, especially those that are willing to work with you,” said the President, adding that the Chinese company had initially opted to work with local investors but no one expressed willingness.
Star Africa TV, a digital multimedia pay TV and Internet service provider currently based in Rwanda, will soon spread to other regional countries and subsequently all over the continent with their main base in Kigali.
“This is in line with Rwanda’s ICT vision that aims at giving Rwandans state-of-the-art multimedia services,” said Kagame, who invited the company to invest in Rwanda during the China-Africa summit that was held in Beijing in November 2006.
He said that the facility will promote Rwanda’s transition from analog technology to digital. “Analog technology is being gradually phased out globally…it has actually been said that it will have been phased out by 2015. So this will take us to another stage,” Kagame said.
The Head of State lamented because of the kind of television facility the country has, saying that without such investment, the country’s much desired development would be derailed.
“Having only one analog television station which also has its limitations like poor quality, lack of content and poor coverage, derails the realization of our vision,” he said.
He lauded the expanding cooperation between Rwanda and China saying that it was a major boost in having the multi-million investment brought to Rwanda.
The Chairman of China Star Corporation, the parent company of Star Africa, said that it was because of the President’s unwavering efforts to lure investors into the country that they decided to extend their business to Rwanda.
“We met three times before deciding to start the investment here and I would like to appreciate the entire government for the regulatory support they have given us since we started constructing the facility,” said Pang Xin Xing.
He said that during the just concluded East African Business Summit, he met with several officials from neighboring countries who expressed the desire to have their services extended to their countries.
The Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda lauded Rwanda’s efforts to improve the socio-economic lives of their people.
“This is a government of vision that has demonstrated unswerving commitment towards the social and economic transformation of Rwanda into a middle income,” said Sun Shuzhong.
The company is expected to start providing internet into the country soon.