Botswana Speaks blog

Paul Kagame: Digital President Leading a Technology Movement

According to an article published on the World Bank blog, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, has been dubbed the “digital president” by international organizations, journalists, and politicians alike. A recent article in Wired Magazine provides a compelling review of numerous technology initiatives that President Kagame has spearheaded in the last decade, making it clear why he’s been given this title. The Rwandan government has been making a concerted effort to create a culture of innovation by investing in technology, infrastructure, and the skills of the Rwandan people, as demonstrated by various projects such as the One Laptop per Child Program and the launch of Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda (CMU-R), which offers a Master of Science degree in Information Technology along with a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. In the last year alone, the government of Rwanda struck a 4G Internet deal with a South Korean telecoms firm that will lead to high-speed broadband for 95% of Rwandan citizens within three years. This is all part of an effort to transform Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy.

Undoubtedly, President Kagame has embraced the challenge of leading a technology movement in Rwanda. But one interesting question posed by the article in Wired Magazine made me stop and pause about the challenges of achieving this. In a discussion between this journalist and the President, she asked: “How do you go about instilling and nurturing a mindset of innovation in people and encouraging them to think globally when it hasn't necessarily been part of their culture?” That’s a tough one. President Kagame’s response: “It’s a daily conversation. You have got to find all kinds of forums and institutions to be able to support and bring everybody into the conversation so there is awareness, there is learning, there is understanding.”

Read more on the World Bank blog

original source

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