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Rwanda To Host First Mobile World Congress In Africa

by Daniel Sabiiti
6:03 pm

PS Iradukunda said Rwanda will benefit from hosting the global meet.

Rwanda is set to host the first Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) Mobile World Congress (MWC), a meeting that is coming to Africa for the first time.

The Mobile World Congress, organized in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, will come to Kigali, Rwanda from October 25-27 2022 bringing together 2,000 participants from more than 75 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.

The meeting which normally takes place in Barcelona Spain will be showcasing cutting-edge technology demos that will redraw the boundaries of possibility.

The MWC also fuels innovation and grows ideas by introducing investors to visionary startups and guiding governments in the transition from physical to digital.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Yves Iradukunda, said that Rwanda expects a lot from this meeting, because it connects many people with many they are changing to communication, especially mobile.

“It’s really a conference that brings together a lot of people with a lot of experience in the field of mobile communications, including politicians from different ministries of technology around the world, different non-profit organizations and research institutes. It’s going to be different,” Iradukunda said.

Iradukunda said that the gathering has a potential to influence policies and new strategies to address current gaps in the mobile communication sector and Rwanda is counting on benefiting from the outcomes.

The media was briefed about the summit.

“This will be a good platform for us to get results related to knowledge, but especially on collaboration with others in knowledge sharing and investments,” Iradukunda said during a press briefing this October 17, 2022.

The congress finds Rwanda already positioned to become Africa’s ICT and Innovation hub by putting in place enabling policies (especially the recent one on personal data protection), giving tax waivers to all ICT equipment imported in the country, setting up ICT innovation centers and facilities and availing seed funding for innovations through pitching competitions.

The Government of Rwanda is also currently implementing the ‘Rwanda Digital Acceleration Project’, funded by the World Bank, and the Asia Infrastructure Bank (worth about $200billion) aimed at making it easier for citizens to get smart phones.

The Bank of Kigali (BK) in collaboration with MTN Rwanda recently announced plans to provide affordable smart phones to all Rwandans in the next five years as a way of driving the bank’s digital transformation plan to have all its services available on the smart phones.

The PS said that technology literacy for all Rwandans using internet and tech gadgets is one of the biggest moves the government has to make to fully benefit from the increase in access to internet and internet enabled gadgets.

At the global scope, experts will discuss key areas of concern- which include Leadership for Connectivity – bringing together leaders from across the African ecosystem to outline their vision and explore the next steps in the region’s transformative agenda and its 5G journey.

One People, One Purpose – exploring catalysts for building a digital economy and highly skilled, inclusive, and sustainable digital societies across Africa and Accelerate Africa – exploring the rise of Web3 and Metaverse means for the region, alongside Fintech – exploring the latest innovations, new partnerships and how emerging technologies are set to shape Africa’s financial services over the next decade.

President Paul Kagame, also known as the “ICT President” is expected to open the congress which comes at the core of one his development agenda’s in transforming Rwanda into a middle income economy driven by ICT and Innovation.

KT Press was represented by Daniel Sabiiti.

Tarib Abdul of Kigali Today

Garald Rugambwa of Le Canape

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