(Ecofin Agency) - Rwanda has placed digital transformation at the heart of its development strategy. Over the past few years, the country has signed various partnerships with international tech companies to achieve its ambition.
On Thursday, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation announced a collaboration with U.S. tech giant Google to accelerate the process. The deal is built on key areas such as the development of digital literacy and basic digital skills through the training of digital ambassadors. The partners will upskill 500 developers and carry out a fintech incubation program for fintech startups.
Other plans include accelerating the growth of e-commerce by helping 3,000 SMEs go online and equipping 1,000 internet workers; improving digital maps of Rwanda's major urban centers through Google Street View to better showcase the country to the world; and improving access to Rwanda's cultural heritage digitally in collaboration with the national museums. The deal also includes support for a policy framework that will contribute to an open digital payment ecosystem via the Mojaloop platform.
According to Paula Ingabire (pictured), Rwanda's ICT Minister, the growth of the digital economy that Google will support is critical and will continue to drive national economic transformation in line with the country's vision to become a knowledge-based economy.
The expertise that Google will bring to Rwanda aligns with the broad program to support Africa's digital transformation. This program was unveiled by the U.S. company last October. It includes an investment of $1 billion over 5 years to improve access to the Internet and digital products, support startups, empower businesses and support non-profit associations.
With the support of Google, Rwanda is building the capacity of its youth to undertake with digital, to create jobs and wealth with ICT, to sell the destination Rwanda to the world. These initiatives will help attract more investment to the country and support national economic growth.