Back in Rwanda after an absence of several years, Milton Nkosi, BBC correspondent in South Africa, recounts the astonishing technological changes that the country has undergone.

The Rwandan capital Kigali was as active as a beehive the week of May 11-13, 2016 as the city hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa.

The country of a thousand hills wants to shake off the negative image of the 1994 genocide, in which nearly 800,000 people were killed.

He thus breaks the old stereotypes which surround his image like that of African nations.

Technology and innovation projects popping up all over the city are generating a new positive story, led by a new generation of young entrepreneurs brimming with good ideas.

High-tech buses

In the suburbs of Gikondo in Kigali, our correspondent took bus 205 to the city center, paying for his ticket with his prepaid chip card.

With this new cashless payment system, travelers along the route get on the bus quickly and easily.

There were no delays or currency issues, the kind of things often encountered in public transport in many African cities.

The modern bus is equipped with a television in the front, which offers music clips for those who do not write texts or do not make phone calls on their mobiles.

State of the art laboratory

As Milton Nkosi enters Positivo GBH in Gasabo, the Kigali district, he discovers a white and clean factory floor, and a laboratory space measuring 3000 m2. Young Rwandans work on computer assemblies under construction.

Une société argentine a mis en place cette usine de fabrication d'ordinateurs


Image captionUne société argentine a mis en place cette usine de fabrication d’ordinateurs

Notre correspondent demande à Juan Ignacio Ponelli, un Argentin impliqué dans la décision d’établir ici le premier bureau africain de la société: « Pourquoi le Rwanda? »

« Pourquoi pas? » répond celui-ci avec un sourire confiant.

Les propriétaires d'entreprises étrangères sont attirés par pas la main d'oeuvre peu chère et qualifiée du marché du travail rwandais

Image captionForeign business owners attracted by inexpensive and skilled labor force in the Rwandan labor market
“We have spoken with different African countries, but I must say that Rwanda is changing rapidly. They are fighting hard against corruption and the country has grown at around 8% per year in recent years, “he added.

Technological incubator

Back in central Kigali, Milton Nkosi visits FabLab, an innovation hub in the government-supported Information and Communication Technology (ICT) park, which is expected to receive $ 150m (£ 105m) d ‘investments.

There he meets young technology entrepreneurs working on 3D and laser printers.

Among them, a familiar face is present in the room. Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister and the head of the African Governance Initiative.

“What they are doing here is not only an incubator for tech companies but also a way to see how the latest technological developments can help revolutionize the rest of the economy,” he said.


Image caption 3D printers are one of the emerging technologies in the technology park
Shikama Dioscore, founder and CEO of Go Ltd, a mobile application development company, shares the optimism of the former UK leader: “We are delighted with the empowerment of young people, especially in technology , “He said.

The Internet brake

But not everything is done smoothly. One of the main challenges is the low Internet penetration in the country.

According to the most recent figures, only 13% of Rwandans have access to the Internet. But the government has released ambitious plans to increase this figure to 95% by the end of 2016, with the planned deployment of a 4G mobile network.

Anne Jellema, Executive Director of the Web Foundation, works to extend the “fundamental right” of connectivity to all people around the world.

“Everyone deserves to be connected with a fast, affordable, secure and transparent Internet connection,” she said. Nowhere is this need more urgent than here in Africa, where four out of five people are not connected today. “

About The Author

CEO AfrikaTech

Comme beaucoup de personnes j’ai connu l’Afrique à travers des stéréotypes : l’Afrique est pauvre, il y a la guerre, famine… Je suis devenu entrepreneur pour briser ces clichés et participer à la construction du continent. J’ai lancé plusieurs entreprises dont Kareea (Formation et développement web), Tutorys (Plate-forme de e-learning), AfrikanFunding (Plate-forme de crowdfunding). Après un échec sur ma startup Tutorys, à cause d’une mauvaise exécution Business, un manque de réseau, pas de mentor, je suis parti 6 mois en immersion dans l’écosystème Tech au Sénégal. J’ai rencontré de nombreux entrepreneurs passionnés, talentueux et déterminés. A mon retour sur Paris je décide de raconter leur histoire en créant le média AfrikaTech. L'objectif est de soutenir les entrepreneurs qui se battent quotidiennement en Afrique en leur offrant la visibilité, les connaissances, le réseautage et les capitaux nécessaires pour réussir. L'Afrique de demain se construit aujourd'hui ensemble. Rejoignez-nous ! LinkedIn:

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