Kobe city in Japan has started recruiting over 1000 ICT engineers from Rwanda under a deal that could help Rwanda cut down unemployment challenges.
The joint deal, “Partnership toward creating innovation ecosystem and bridging Africa and Japan,” was signed on May 9, by Mayors of Kigali City and Kobe City.
According to this partnership, Kobe City will recruit 100 Rwandan ICT engineers every year.
“Through Kobe Institute of Computing (KIC), we shall connect Rwandan ICT engineers to companies operating in Kobe, and they will hire them,” said Kobe City Mayor, Kizo Hisamoto.
Hisamoto said, “the jobs will include software development and other services one would provide without necessarily settling in Kobe.”
According to Kigali City Mayor, Monique Mukaruriza, “Kobe and Kigali entered a win-win deal; we shall be exporting manpower while for them they will contribute to our employment.”
Rwanda has 12 students at KIC pursuing a master’s program in ICT. The Rwandan students at KIC have a fully funded scholarship and other allowances covered by the school.
“Kobe city which funded the establishment of k-Lab, an ICT hub in Kigali is already in cooperation with an ICT chamber at Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF),” according to Alex Ntale, Executive Director of the Chamber.
With unemployment level of up to 3.4%, Rwanda is targeting to create 200,000 new off farm jobs annually.
Mukaruriza told KT Press, Kobe will be presented with several investment opportunities available in Rwanda.
“For example, we need investors to tap into the affordable housing, yet Kobe engineers have expertise in this sector,” she said.
Kigali has 300,000 housing gap and targets to develop at least 10,000 units every year, and this calls for a robust Public-Private sector Partnership.
Rwanda contributes 30% to the cost of every affordable housing project through availing basic infrastructure of roads and water at the site.
A 17-member delegation from Kobe including; 5 city officials and 12 businessmen from ICT, construction and other domains were shown Kigali City Master Plan to have an idea of available investment opportunities.
They also visited the Special Economic Zone, which also gave them an idea of franchises they would settle in Rwanda in the future.
They found computer assembling a good venture, according to a city official.
The two city mayors signed a declaration including five key areas. One is collaboration and exchange of business, academic, public sector to make a flourishing business between Africa and Japan.
Another area is facilitation of business to business between Africa and Japan while also exploring cooperation between ICT chambers of both cities.
They will also exchange and explore talents from each other’s, especially in the domain of smart cities.
The two cities will exchange innovations in industries and research findings from their academic institutions.
Mukaruriza said, “Country security, zero tolerance to corruption and good governance will attract Kobe’s investors to Kigali.”