Rwanda: Africa’s New High-Tech HotSpot.

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The Vision 2020 in Rwanda is something that almost all the entrepreneurs that I met in Kigali was keen on re-telling to me. Leapfrogging development is a term which is often mentioned in the developing world and the world hasn’t seen a real strong evidence/case, not until Rwanda emerged on the global development map!

What is The Vision 2020?

The pillars of the Vision 2020:

1.  The reconstruction of the nation and its social capital;

2.  The development of a credible and efficient state governed by the rule of law;

3.  Human resource development in line with our objective of turning Rwanda into a prosperous knowledge-based economy;

4.  Development of basic infrastructure, including urban planning;

5.  Development of entrepreneurship and the private sector, and

6.  Modernization of agriculture and animal husbandry.

For more in depth info, click here

There are some other very important criterias, especially for potential global investors that might be interested in Rwanda. These are the USP (Unique Selling Points) that Rwanda proudly can present, that in my view none of it’s neighbouring countries (The Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, as well as the East African country of Kenya) can prove in the same manor as Rwanda can.

The USP’s for Rwanda are:

  • Safety measurements. Rwanda and Kigali as the capital, are very safe and secure. Even the Boda Boda drivers wear helmets, and the drivers really express that you have to wear a helmet, at the same time as there can only be one passenger per Boda (guess they’re called Moto in Kinyarwanda). I felt as if I had 10.000 dollars in my pocket, even if people would know about it, they wouldn’t do anything. You should try expressing the same feeling walking down Kenyata Road in Nairobi?

  • The entrepreneurial climate. Due to the fact that Rwanda wants to create more jobs and transform the informal sector to formal sectors, the government sees the entrepreneurs as the real society boosters! One of the reasons that you want to create more jobs is that it’s the best cure towards re-leaving tensions in the Rwandan society .

  • Low corruption. As a Israeli businessmen told me: “Do you know why Rwanda is the country in East Africa where the sky is the limit? It’s because all businesspeople abide by the rules and regulations in this country and we all pay the taxes. If you try to sneak out and take a short-cut, the government will soon be in your tail and your rumour will be totally spoiled. The corruption is low, compared to the neighbouring countries. So just stick to the rules and tax-regulations, and you’ll see that the sky is the limit in Rwanda”.

  • Highly organized and structured. I can’t really count how many entrepreneurs and Rwandan organizations that I met, but they all kept the time-schedule and was never late. It was actually me and my colleagues who were slightly late instead. I must say that this USP is really a HUGE advantage in the competition with it’s neighbours.

  • Leadership and The Vision 2020. Paul Kagame has really shown the East African Community (EAC) that Rwanda is a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. Let’s not forget that the Rwandan parliament consists of 56% women, as the world’s most equal parliament in the world.

Putting the emotions and passion aside for a minute, what about the negative aspects of the Rwanda’s leapfrogging? Haven’t you anything negative to say about Rwanda’s development progression, you might think? Well, due to the fact that entrepreneurship is the core that creates jobs in Rwanda, which is also a real and concrete synergy-effect when it comes to reconciliation between different ethnic groups in the country, is that when people feel that they have “ownership” over their job or a business, it’s harder to manipulate people into committing atrocities, who are occupied in their minds, occupied in defending and developing themselves in a occupation or in their own business. This might be a very vague answer regarding the fact that I don’t have any straight forward negative things to say about Rwanda’s current development pace. Call me boring, passionate extremist, horrible in doing a proper analysis, putting that aside, what I experienced in Rwanda is a really rare case of leapfrogging in the developing world. That’s my conclusion.

Morakoze chanii, (Thank you very much in Kinyarwanda)


Emre Gürler.

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