Rwanda 2020s: Africa’s next Business And Innovation Hub In The Next Decade
Just within 3 decades, Rwanda has seen it all. From the genocide to reconciliation, civilian strife to now the current ones including the cleanest city in Africa, a growth in economy, it is now set to become the hub of business and innovation in Africa. The conventional Rwandan narrative in the past decades has been a study worth understanding. The socio-economic history unfolds in ways that averaged between 5% and 10% GDP growth for two decades, outperforming many neighboring countries and earning the nickname of could-be ‘Singapore of Africa’. That is no mean feat.
As South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria dominate the African tech ecosystem, Rwanda will not be left behind in the coming decade. Assuredly, the years 2020s will set Rwanda not just as an emerging key tech and investment hub but it will become the key player in the continent with its ease of doing business.
For instance, Rwanda Development Board’s (RDB) vision is to work with various partners to transform Rwanda into a dynamic global hub for business, investment, and innovation. The next 10 years will deepen this goal.
The premises to this accelerated growth rest on a heavily-remarked commitment to, and investment in developing the ICT infrastructure that will feed Rwanda’s bound-to-be knowledge economy. In 2011, the UN was already referring to the ICT sector as a super-charging factor of Rwanda’s economy and, in 2015, the country was awarded the 1st place in the continent for ICT development by the World Economic Forum. Reasons like being geographically disadvantaged or a country out of a war-torn era are soon to be overcome by their strategies among which include
1) long-term vision and a superb leadership,
2) political discipline, and
3) conspicuous investment.
Very few African countries can boast of such competitive advantage.
Rwanda currently is an innovator’s paradise. Technology companies and manufacturers from within and outside the continent are moving to the country to either set up innovation hubs or manufacturing plants.
For instance, this year’s Kusi Ideas Festival held at the Intare Conference arena in Kigali, showcased the geopolitical leadership that the country is already championing for the next decade. Among the key participants in the event led by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, included Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, and African Union Infrastructure Envoy Raila Odinga who were flexing their muscles on the direction of the African continent.
Recently Andela, which originally launched in Nigeria, CcHub, a Nigerian among many others have been launching a pan-African tech hub in Kigali. The hubs will recruit and train software developers from anywhere in Africa. Not only Africa-focused companies are setting up shop in Rwanda, multinational businesses are also doing the same.
From an advertorial issued last week by RDB, the Rwandese government is keen to prioritise private sector development, as the driver of Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation. This formed the basis for the creation of the Rwanda Development Board, as a one stop institution to provide key services, and expedite decisions affecting investors as well as reforms for a very conducive business environment.
RDB’s vision is to work with global partners to transform Rwanda into a dynamic global hub for business, investment, and innovation. The next 10 years will deepen this goal. “We will continue to foster and fast track private sector led economic growth across all sectors, and make Rwanda every investor’s first choice” concludes the advert.
For anyone with investment ideas in Africa, Rwanda is one place that you must consider in the coming decade.