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Rwanda’s ambitious vision to become Africa’s ICT Hub
It is a Thursday evening and the Telecom House conference room is packed with students from various universities in Rwanda, setting up ‘tech’ equipment like computers, modems and mobile phones as they prepare to demo their latest innovations in computer software to an audience of venture capitalists, business owners and government officials.
These are no ordinary students; many of them are CEOs and CTOs of their own start-up companies and are here on serious business.
This is a typical session at The iHills, Rwanda’s ICT entrepreneur network and soon to be incubator, which is just one of Rwanda’s technology centered communities.
One by one the teams make presentations of their mostly mobile and web based applications that are providing solutions to needs in the society like applications to link employers to potential employees, business directories and hospital appointment scheduling applications to mention but a few. Clearly, the culture here is driving innovation.
This wave of entrepreneurs in ICT is not random, Rwanda’s ambitious 2020 vision of transforming Rwanda from a predominantly agricultural economy to a knowledge based economy has a special focus on ICT as a pivotal crosscutting tool in achieving this goal.
Large investments in backbone infrastructure like fiber optic cable covering the entire country, a 97% GSM network coverage of the country and quality education to meet the skills gap, attracting big players like Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University are some of the efforts being made to foster this technological advancement.
An emphasis on creating a healthy business environment to encourage growth in the private sector has also contributed tremendously to this entrepreneurial revolution. Rwanda is ranked as East Africa’s number one investment destination.
It took us less than 24 hours to register our mobile applications development company, HeHe Limited while we were still at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. We got our first 7 million francs (11,000USD) contract a month later and have never looked back since.
However, this remarkable progress has not gone without its share of challenges. Skills gaps in ICT and business related fields, high energy costs and low literacy levels have resulted in barely scratching the surface of the opportunities in ICT in Rwanda.
But as I watch Christian, a computer engineering student talk about his mobile application for helping students find affordable accommodation around Kigali, the zeal in his presentation and the excitement in the room only echoes one thing, this is already one of Africa's ICT hubs.
HeHe Limited is mobile applications development company founded in 2010 out of the college class rooms of the Kigali Institute Of Science and Technology. HeHe is now at the forefront of this technological revolution and has quickly become one of East Africa’s leading mobile applications development companies providing powerful new ways for businesses to reach their customers fast, affordably and conveniently.
Mobile Phone Number: +250788466332;+250788581078
Website: HeHe Limited