According to Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), who spoke at the center’s debut, Rwanda’s government has announced the launch of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), the first of its kind to be formally inaugurated in Africa. The World Economic Forum worked with the Rwandan government to launch C4IR in Kigali.
C4IR’s launch, according to Rwanda’s Minister of Information, Communication Technology, and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, was prompted by the rapid innovation seen in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, as well as the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a movement that has swept the continent.
“…there is an increased urgency to develop digital and technological capacities to build more resilient systems for a healthier society and more sustainable economy,” Ingabire said, quoted by Media24.
According to the WEF’s website, Rwanda will “engage with stakeholders around the world to build and pilot new approaches to technology governance that stimulate innovation in an inclusive and responsible manner.”
Formulating and examining the country’s laws and policies around artificial intelligence, as well as the protection of personal data and privacy, are among the new initiatives to be undertaken at the C4IR.
“The launch of this center is enabled by investments that we, as a country, have been making in science and technology. I hope the center will build on this by making the Fourth Industrial Revolution an equalizing force, and contributing solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges. We are very happy to have the World Economic Forum as a partner in this crucial and other endeavors,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame during the launch of C4IR last week.
He went on to say that the center’s opening demonstrated how far the country has progressed in science and technology nearly 30 years after the country’s infamous ethnically driven genocide in the 1990s.
“This is the first center to be formally launched in Africa. It says a lot about the leadership in the country when it comes to leapfrogging and being visionary when it comes to new technologies,” WEF president Brende chimed.
“I think that this Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Rwanda will play an important role to meet the ratio of Rwanda becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2035. The center, I hope, will be a key enabler of Rwanda’s goal of becoming an even more prosperous society,” he said.
“The time has come for Africa to put itself at the very center of a new technological revolution. Our continent has a unique competitive advantage that stems from an undeniably entrepreneurial spirit that is built into our young generations – that is an ability to innovate out of necessity,” added Ingabire.