It’s all systems go for Rwanda as Kigali preps itself to host the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa from 11th – 13th May.
Ten African heads of state and government are converging in Kigali for the forum. Notably, Gabon’s Ali Bongo Ondimba, Alpha Conde of Guinea, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Macky Sall of Senegal, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo.
The theme of the event is “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation.”
More than 1,200 business, governments, academia, and civil society leaders from 70 countries will attend the meeting which starts Wednesday to “explore Africa’s prospects and priorities as the world enters the Fourth Revolution.”
Rwanda’s Finance and Economic Planning minister Claver Gatete said WEF has added value to the global economy, bringing together businesses, governments and other players.
“We see WEF as a very important platform for business, but also business linking with government and society in general and this is a model of development that the country has undertaken for a long time. Where our country has come from has been a result of that effort. So WEF in a sense signifies or symbolises that,” says Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
“We want to see that WEF in Rwanda creates the kind of energy that will [leave] a lasting impact not just in our country, but across the continent.”
The WEF meeting will feature the conversations started in Davos last year, regarding the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which largely looks at the disruption brought about by the digital age, where leaders will be discussing how to take advantage of the opportunities brought forth, as well as challenges it comes with, such as cybercrimes and regulation of new technological trends.
With a GDP growth rate hovering around 7.6 per cent – one of the fastest growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa – and led by a dynamic president, Paul Kagame, Rwanda has a proven track-record. This year’s theme gives a grand nod to Rwanda’s own digital supremacy.