4,000 delegates from eighteen African countries joined Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, where the Transform Africa digital conference began today. The objective is to have the foot in the stirrup to improve the quota of digital in the economic development of Africa.
The initiative is by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. He who enjoys international recognition for transforming Rwanda, disfigured after the 1994 genocide. Today, the capital Kigali claims to be a smart city.
In an interview with Le Monde Afrique, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwandan Minister of Youth and New Technologies explains how the Rwandan capital has relied on new technologies to ensure a radical transformation.
Kigali, a fully connected city
Today, for example, he explains, Kigali is a city fully connected to the Internet. From streets, hotels, restaurants, transport, to public areas, anyone in Kigali can enjoy free wifi.
In addition, the services of the public administration have undergone a serious digitization. It is now possible to “pay online their local taxes, obtain a building permit, a title deed, a birth certificate …”, adds the minister.
Same for streets that have been geolocated 100%. The next step will be to move towards the disappearance of cash. The idea is to push people to pay – services – via phones or other technological means. If transportation and other great restaurants are already on the way, the hardest will certainly be to convince small traders.
Putting Africa on the Rails of Digital Development
It is this policy that Rwanda wants to infuse to the rest of Africa. Gathered in the Smart Africa alliance, an initiative willed by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, African countries will be able to learn from the Rwandan model and think of other options in order to make digital transformation the lung of African development.
In fact, a master plan called Smart Cities Bluprint will be defined at the Transform Africa conference (here you put the start and end dates of the seminar). It will be a sort of “road map” for all African mayors and decision-makers who want to transform their city. That is why we will launch a network of African intelligent cities at the end of this conference, “he said.
It is certainly not by chance that the issue of the reform of the African Union was entrusted to the Rwandan president. Among its prerogatives, the digitization of the large African institutional family is highlighted.