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Transform Africa 2019

Digital Economy Will Keep Africa Together – Kagame




For Africa to realize a digital economy, leaders on the continent should critically think about the rationale of this concept – President Paul Kagame warned while presenting at the Transform Africa summit in Kigali.

The president was responding to a question posed by the moderator asking – how would entrepreneurs become part of changing Africa? And this was pegged on the growing efforts to a continental digital transformation.

President Kagame told the gathering that prior to the noon session, he had an amicable conversation with Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta about Air transport and they realized there was something wrong.

“We agree there needs to be a single market for air transport on the continent,”Kagame said, adding just as there is a project of the African Union to create a single market for air transport in Africa.

Once this Single market for air transport is completely in force, it will allow significant freedom of air transport in Africa, advancing the AU’s Agenda 2063.

It is in this realm that Kagame proposes similar perspective be considered in the move to propel an African digital Market.

“I and Mali president have been talking about airlines that serve our capitals in Africa. For example why would someone from Kigali to Bamako have to first go through Poland?

“We need direct connection through our airspace. Why don’t we think like that on the digital economy? If I call Kenyatta on phone they first take me through Europe for my voice to be inspected. We need voice and data to be accessible directly,” President Kagame said.

Kagame suggested that “African leaders should be thinking of lessening the cost of things and services for our people.”

This digital agenda according to Kagame seeks to keep Africa together, “Collaboration is the only way for us to navigate successfully, through the complex global dynamics we have to face.”

Similarly, President Kagame noted that the continent can only protect its peoples’ interests, and increase the size of our market, through integration and cooperation.

However, there could be concerns by other global powers about Africa’s agenda to establish a digital economy.

“The emergence of a common African agenda on ICTs should not be a source of worry to anyone. It is long overdue, and in the end, greater African unity will benefit both Africa and its partners globally,” kagame said.

The Rwandan President said noted that there are always tendencies to want to divide the African continent, for various reasons, “We know better not to go along with this”.

For Africa to fully enjoy and utilize the existing ICTs, the leaders at the Transform Africa Summit agreed that Africans must generate their own content.

“Let’s not be empty vessels, using broadband internet merely to consume the content and ideas produced by others. Technology connects the world like never before. Access to knowledge has become much more equitable as a result,” Kagame challenged Africans.

The African Continental Free Trade Area has now entered into force. We must keep Africa’s industrialisation and technology agendas in close alignment.

The host of the 6th Transform Africa Summit in 2020 will be the Republic of Guinea. We thank the President,His Excellency Alpha Condé for his strong support for Smart Africa.

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Road Safety: Second Week To Target Cargo Trucks, Taxis




The Gerayo Amahoro campaign will enter the second week this Monday with now focus shifting to cargo trucks and special hire taxi drivers.

The 52 week-long Gerayo Amahoro campaign loosely translated as ‘arrive safely’,  is a road safety campaign launched a week ago as part of the national efforts towards behavioural change to prevent fatalities road.

According to Senior Supt. Jean Marie Vianney Ndushabandi, the spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety, on Monday, the campaign will be extended to cargo or heavy trucks drivers.

“Heavy trucks are among those that cause or involve in accidents; they fall under the national compulsory policy of use of speed governor,” SSP Ndushabandi said.

“So, we want to highlight to them their varied behaviours that put their lives and those of other road users at risk and thier responsiveness on road usage,” he added.

In most cases, trucks overturn after failing to negotiate corners due to speeding or lead to head-on collision with motorists from the opposite direction after overtaking in dangerous places.

As a policy, cargo and passenger sevice vehicles are subjected to compulsory use of speed governor with maximum speed regulated at 60km/hr.

The compulsory use of speed governor led to the reduction of road accidents by 20 percent, last year.

“On Wednesday, we will meet drivers of taxis (special hires). This is a group of motorists with a very low rate of accidents, nonetheless, as said, even a single loss of a life is many,” the spokesperson observed.

On Friday, Gerayo Amahoro campaign will be extended to pedestrians.

Pedestrians fall under categories of road users with high cases of involvement in accidents, either due to reckless use of the road or hit by vehicles, motorcycles and cyclists that violate traffic rules.

“In all the three categories of road users, there will be specific meetings across the country, on highways, use of social media, talkshows on various radios and TV channels,” SSP Ndushabandi said.

Last week, Rwanda National Police extended the road safety messages to students in various schools located near main roads, across the country.

New pedestrian crossing lines were put in place and old ones repainted.

Series of awareness activities have also been introduced.

The latest social media campaign on the risks of speeding and impaired driving, delivered messages such as ‘Speed Kills. Slow Down’.

The campaign, which includes radio and ambient advertising aims to raise awareness among motorists on the risks and potential consequences of speeding.

‘People need to know that speeding has consequences for all – the driver, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists. People’s lives are in the hands of drivers,’ said  SSP Ndushabandi.

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Asian Tech Giant, VSONE, Opens Office In Rwanda




VSONE AFRICA, an IT enterprise solution provider launched its operations in Africa on the last day of Transform Africa 2019, May 17, 2019, at Marriott Hotel in Kigali.

With over 10 years of experience, 600 employees and a turnover of about US$35 million in 2018, VSONE is currently providing a variety of products and services in the public sector (E-Government), Banking, Financial and Insurance solutions, E-health and hospitality E-services as well as automation of manufacturing across various countries in Asia.

The company, being a tier one partner of HP and other major IT companies such as Oracle, SAP and others, says it will leverage its parent company’s broad experience, expertise, products and services to create Made in Africa versions, as African Solutions.

“Our strategy is to build an African company using our learning from Asia to boost the continent’s abundant talents through strong local partnerships. I am a strong believer on the continent potential”, said VSONE Chairman, Prabodha Sumanasekera.


He further indicated that VSONE sees Rwanda as a strategic market and location from which the company will cover the continent with plans to expand to Kenya, Mozambique, Angola and DRC are underway.

By the end of 2019, the firm said it will be operational in the South and West of Africa.

Rwanda has been a leader in the deployment of IT solutions for development, education and health.

It is now building a modern regional airport hub and a strong airline with a constant economic growth of over 6%.

Therefore, establishing VSONE Africa Headquarters in Rwanda will enable the company to benefit from all these positive factors.

Nkubito Manzi Bakuramutsa, the Africa CEO, told Taarifa that it is an exciting time for the continent.

“Africa has 1.2 billion population, 60% of which are young, full of creativity and talent. We are inspired by President Kagame views he shared at the Transform Africa 2019 that: “Everything we need for transformation is in the room or represented in the room.”

“VSONE is looking to participate in moving the continent from a consumer of content to a producer of content and a key player in the 4th industrial revolution. We want to align our business strategy, to the AU and Smart Africa visions,” he said.

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Transform Africa 2019

MTN, PSF Sign Deal To Make EXPO Rwanda Fully Cashless




Rwandans can now brace for a fully cashless international exhibition following a partnership agreement signed between MTN and Private Sector Federation.

The partnership was signed Thursday during the Transform Africa Summit in Kigali.

It aims at accelerating doing business in Rwanda.

Both institutions have agreed this partnership will bring digital user-friendly solutions starting with MoMo Pay and Ticketing solutions.

“Customers can easily transact without necessarily using cash, but rather using their Mobile Money wallets,” the join communiqué reads in part.

The two parties have also agreed that Mobile Money be used to purchase all products during EXPO.

People will be able to buy their EXPO tickets with momo. They will then receive a confirmation message which will be used at the entrance for validation using handsets.

Also businesses will be able to send money to neighbouring countries to enable them to clear their goods without moving from Rwanda and vice versa.

“We want to be part of this journey and we hope with the new partnership with MTN Rwanda will be a great kick-off point to drive this initiative forward,” said Stephen Ruzibiza, the PSF Chief Executive Officer.

MTN and PSF concur with the fact that smart applications and other innovations in the digital economy can improve services and help address business challenges in a wide range of areas, including health, agriculture, food processing, corporate governance, tax, transport, education, entertainment, and the environment, among others.

“The key to success is the adoption of Mobile Money as an alternative to cash by small and medium sized businesses,” says MTN CEO Bart Hofker.

Implementation of this partnership will be preceded by trainings and workshops on the usage of Mobile Money, assistance in acquiring the required technologies, extension of usage of the technology in day to day businesses even after the Expo, as well as providing the advisory services where required.

PSF and MTN will also run an educational campaign countrywide and through different communication channels.

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