What will it take to be at the forefront of Africa’s Fourth Industrial Revolution?”
This is the question that was posed by DMMHehe at their breakfast conversation on Driving Africa’s Fourth Industrial Revolution. With support from Smart Africa and the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), the gathering brought together representatives of Government institutions, the private sector, regional institutions and organizations, and the media. NIRDA was represented at the event by partner UNIDO’s Betty Tushabe who pointed out that “the 4th Industrial Revolution goes beyond technology to create an ecosystem integrating all sectors of life.” Tushabe spoke about one of NIRDA’s flagship projects, the Open Calls, which aim to introduce firm-level innovations, which improve the ability and capacity of Rwandan enterprises to compete in strategic national and international markets, leading to increased profits, exports and the creation of decent and productive employment. She gave the example of the technical and training support NIRDA will give to banana wine entrepreneurs, emphasizing that the knowledge behind automation technology and the usage of said technology will create opportunity across Rwanda.
All speakers were in general agreement that Rwanda is in possession of the resources and the will to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the continent, but there are deliberate steps that need to be taken to ensure Rwanda takes its rightful place in the movement. CEO of DMMHehe, Clarisse Iribagiza noted that “we need to be intentional in empowering girls in ICT, by providing an enabling environment,” while the CEO of RISA, Innocent Muhizi called for the development of a think tank to asses opportunities and position ourselves as a country.” UNIDO’s Tushabe concluded: “today’s youth are talented, and have access to tremendous resources. We need to create a conducive environment for them to be at forefront of this revolution. The technologies for the 4th industrial revolution are already in place. We need to embrace and innovate around those.”