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July 27, 2017

Signing of Record of Discussions on Technical Cooperation Project with Rwanda: Supporting Rwanda as an innovation powerhouse of Africa

photosigning ceremony

On July 26, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda in Kigali for the ICT Innovation Ecosystem Strengthening Project, a technical cooperation project.

The project will effectively and efficiently connect existing experts in the ICT sector, including the relevant authorities and chambers of commerce, with a diverse range of newly participating members from Rwanda and other countries, such as ICT companies, investors and educational institutions, and will strengthen the ICT innovation ecosystem in Rwanda, which is an environment for launching new businesses.

After losing a great many lives in civil conflict in the 1990s, the Government of Rwanda advocated remaking the country with advanced ICT in the 2000s. Through the relaxation of regulations, the country created a business environment that attracted many domestic and foreign investors, and has achieved post-conflict reconstruction and a high rate of economic growth. In the ICT field, JICA has dispatched advisors for support with ICT policies, established incubation spaces* (including the FabLab) and strengthened partnerships with Japanese companies. JICA has also developed human resources that will provide base support to the ICT industry through assistance for establishing the Tumba College of Technology and strengthening mathematics and science education. The project is expected to extend and expand the outcomes that such support has achieved.

Many international students from Rwanda studying in the ICT field have attended the African Business Education (ABE) Initiative for the Youth, and a partnership between the present project and returning students is expected to develop organically. In addition, the ICT Human Resource Development Project in Kigali, Rwanda, (City of Kobe), which is a JICA partnership program, is being carried out by the Kobe Institute of Computing and is expected to have a complementary relationship to the present project.

* A shared space equipped with a variety of devices, including ICT-enabled three-dimensional printers and cutting machines with the objective of making it possible to make “almost anything.” Such incubation spaces can be found around the world and are open for citizens to use.

[Basic project information]
Country Republic of Rwanda
Project title ICT Innovation Ecosystem Strengthening Project
Planned implementation period October 2017 to September 2020
Executing agency Ministry of Youth and ICT, ICT Chamber, Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Information Technology Authority
Target region, facilities Throughout Rwanda
Specific project details (provisional) (1) the promotion of creative ICT applications in the ICT and other sectors primarily through private enterprise, (2) the improvement of the policy framework for starting businesses and promoting innovation in the ICT field, (3) strengthening relationships between Rwanda and Japanese companies pertaining to ICT, and (4) strengthening the ability to communicate about creative ICT applications within and outside of Rwanda

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