President Paul Kagame has launched the centre for the fourth Industrial Revolution in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, the first of its kind in Africa.
An initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Centre joins a network of 16 centers from across the world which constitute the fourth industrial revolution global network.
Panelists defined the fourth industrial revolution as being the convergence of physical, digital and biological world that changes the ways of life and shapes the future driven by innovation.
“The launch of the center is taking place at a critical time and we have to take full advantage of it in Rwanda and all over the world,” President Kagame said during the launch in Kigali reminding how technology innovations shaped lives of people during the time of COVID-19.
Kagame further said: “The way we live, work and interact with each other, will keep evolving as technology does. But data governance frameworks have not kept up with the fast pace of digital transformation. I therefore commend the center for supporting the development of Rwanda’s personal data protection and privacy law.”
The policy, she said, will safeguard our citizens while leveraging emerging technologies for the betterment of our communities.
The president said, that a partnership like the one that is channeled through the centre will stimulate entrepreneurship through increased investments in the right skills and capacity.
It will also help address the financing gaps that prevent Africa’s businesses scaling up
Lastly it will help harmonise Africa’s data governance landscape and thereby fast tracking the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Chrystal Rugege, the Managing Director of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), Rwanda chapter said that Rwanda has already witnessed the emergency of the 4th industrial revolution from using drones for blood delivery, to delivering more equitable access to finance through micro lending using blockchain.
She said, that the centre for the fourth industrial revolution global network was created to respond to the urgent need for a faster and more agile approach to governing emerging technologies and also the business models they enable.
Speaking about the centre’s principles, Mrs Rugege said that the centre is dedicated to co-designing governance frameworks including laws and regulations, norms and best practices that shape the industrial trajectory of the fourth industrial revolution with local knowledge that can empower global change.
This is in partnership with government, civil society and private sector and academia in also accelerating skills in technology innovation.
In their doing, she said they priortise ethics, human centered values that promote social inclusion.
The centre was put in place in 2020 and has been focusing on governance, artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to Mrs. Rugege.