IT Infrastructure is key to Rwanda development

November 24, 2014

The government and people of Rwanda should listen closely to business leaders who have outlined some of the biggest challenges facing the country. As an emerging economy with a gross domestic product close to $7.5 billion, Rwanda must upgrade itself from developing to middle income nation status. That, however, is more easily said than done. Business researchers have noted that only 5 percent of middle-income nations manage to make the leap, South Korea being a recent example. The challenge for Rwanda is how to be part of the 5 percent exception and the key is digitalization of its economy, as well as a push for the technology, media and telecommunication industries to grow faster. Studies have shown that the 4G technology will play a critical role as it will not only let consumers enjoy better Internet services but allow companies to also transfer data and information faster and more securely.

This will definitely boost efficiency in the country Indeed, business studies have also shown that nationwide implementation of 4G technology can potentially boost the country’s GDP by 2 percent per year. That translates into millions of new high-paying jobs and the emergence of new industries. It means entrepreneurs can experiment with new ideas in ways they never dreamed of doing before. Rwanda has not excelled at ICT and information technology so far. While it has a talent pool of computer experts, the country has not been able to produce many IT engineers. With the introduction of 4G technology, that will change. But the private sector cannot do this by itself. The government needs to get involved and invest heavily in new IT and broadband services. The payoff will be huge and it will provide the platform for Rwanda to become a developed economy in the not-too-distant future.

Contador Harrison