More than 20 Japanese investors and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives are expected to jet into the country today to explore investments opportunities and strategic partnerships ahead of the World Economic forum Africa (WEF) summit in Kigali next week.
The investors are accompanying the JICA Vice president, Hiroshi Kato and Mayor, City of Kobe in Japan Kizo Hisamoto.
Rwanda will host World Economic forum for Africa under the theme; ‘Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation’ between May 11 and 13 at Camp Kigali grounds. It is expected to attract more than 1500 delegates including investors from Japan.
The Japanese delegation according Sakamoto Atstuki, JICA’s programs manager, are expected to host a breakfast meeting in Kigali where they will discuss ways of creating an Innovation Ecosystem in Africa leveraging on Rwanda-Japan partnership.
They are also seeking for partnerships with local investors especially in the ICT sector,
In particular the Mayor is expected to discuss with his counterpart in Kigali on areas of partnership between Kobe and Kigali City.
JICA in cooperation with the government of Rwanda and Kobe City government are seeking ways to strengthen ties.
“Rwanda has been working hard to create its ecosystem for innovation and the determination of the country to be an innovation hub in Africa has attracted people from different parts of the world. To support government’s strategic policy to enhance economic development through ICT and its innovative use, JICA has been assisting in the establishment of innovation ecosystems which include K-Lab (Knowledge Lab) as well as FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory).”
New program to link innovators
Meanwhile, the Kobe city government plans to launch a new program that will help link innovators from Japan with Africa’s entrepreneurs including those from Rwanda. Already, with the support of the government of Japan, almost 20 Rwandan students are studying ICT for Development in Japan, 10 of them are in Kobe, the sixth-largest city in Japan.
This programme therefore is expected to further create an enabling environment for both K-Lab and FabLab where young innovators can gain more skills.