Rwanda coming from the ashes of a genocide has proven to be a leading light in the continent. Africa after all has some good news coming out of it. In the age of technology, it is good that from Africa, a country joins the league of technology competitive world. Kigali Innovation City is modeled after Silicon Valley.
Rwanda has proven to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as it leads the African continent in technological advancement and infrastructural development.
The East African nation recently launched Africa’s first electronic cross-border trade platform with the help of Alibaba Group’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) to engage small businesses across the continent.
The Kigali Innovation City (KIC), a Private Public Partnership between the Government of Rwanda and Africa50, an infrastructure investment platform that was founded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and African states, will serve as the continent’s Silicon Valley.
Located in Kigali’s Special Economic Zone, the project is valued at about $2 billion and will host world-class universities, technology companies, biotech firms, and commercial and retail real estate on 70 hectares of land.
The Rwandan government said Africa50 will focus on the real estate portion of the project which includes building retail and commercial complexes estimated to cost $315 million. They will also work on the Digital Innovation Precinct which will house all the technology companies in KIC and residential facilities for the employees working for companies within the ecosystem.
“This is an innovative effort, the first of its kind on the continent. It will have Pan-African development impact both in terms of economic and human capital. For instance, Kigali Innovation City is expected to create over 50,000 jobs annually. Our aim is to build a critical mass of talent, research and innovative ideas that will transform Africa,” says Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente at the Africa Investment Forum.
“Kigali Innovation City forms part of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 development program and National Strategy for Transformation 2017-2024. It is one of the projects that aims at establishing Rwanda as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy,” he added.
Africa has for long portrayed as being backward in technology, Ghana had dreamed of having a technology city. In 2013, President John Mahama inaugurated a technology city and Kenya had also inaugurated a technology city. Progress of the initiatives has remained sketchy. Hopefully, KIC dream will be fulfilled.