Rwanda inaugurates the first African Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) dedicated to research and development in artificial intelligence

On March 31, in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, in the presence of President Paul Kagame, the Rwandan Ministry of Information Technologies, Communication and Innovation and the World Economic Forum inaugurated the Center for the Fourth Revolution industrial, C4IR. His role is to promote emerging technologies but he mainly focuses on artificial intelligence and data policy. Its goal is to develop partnerships to drive innovation and large-scale adoption for the benefit of society.

The C4IRs

The World Economic Forum has made it its mission to ” help leaders anticipate, understand and shape the trajectory of technological change for human-centered and societal outcomes. »

It hosts a global network of 15 centers for the fourth industrial revolution, the C4IR Network. Their aim is to shape new policies and strategies in areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital assets, Internet of Things or autonomous vehicles and enable agile implementation and iteration. The one in Rwanda is dedicated to research and development in artificial intelligence. It follows the agreement signed between the World Economic Forum and the Rwandan government at the Davos summit in 2020.

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, gave the keynote speech at the launch ceremony of the Kigali center, in which he recalled the role of C4IR networks in harnessing convergent technologies to create an inclusive future and human-centered. He stated :

“This is the first center to be officially launched in Africa. That says a lot about the country’s leadership in leapfrogging and being a visionary when it comes to new technologies. I believe this Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Rwanda will play an important role in achieving Rwanda’s ratio of becoming an upper middle income country by 2035. The center I hope will be a key catalyst for the Rwanda’s goal of becoming a more prosperous society. »

Rwanda, the first African country to launch a center dedicated to AI research and development

Rwanda has been investing in AI research and development for several years.

On October 31, 2019, the Consortium of African IT Professionals (CPAI), Vileo Ventures and Solve IT Africa launched SHAKA AI, the first artificial intelligence skills outsourcing company in Africa. Joseph Semafara CEO of Solve IT and Vice President of Operations of SHAKA AI, then declared about this space of expertise in AI:

“He is dedicated to building an African artificial intelligence environment where new careers are created day by day in Rwanda where his head office is located. It comes with a clear goal to expand its operations across the African continent. »

Rwanda has improved its Internet network which increased to 31.4% in 2021 according to data from DataReportal. The 73.9% of the Rwandan population, mostly young, who have a mobile connection have access to 4G which covers the entire country.

Furthermore, he has put in place the Smart Rwanda 2020 Master Plan for the implementation of digital literacy for all and supporting research and development of digital transformation (Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics, Cybersecurity Research , Creative Industries and Multimedia, Mobility and Digital Lifestyle).

During the inauguration, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, said:

“The launch of this center is made possible by the investments that we, as a country, have made in science and technology. I hope the center will build on this by harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an equalizing force and providing solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges. We are very pleased to have the World Economic Forum as a partner in this and other crucial endeavours. »

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, who joined the ceremony via video, stressed the importance of Africa taking the lead in shaping the future of technology governance:

“I have no doubt that the center will herald a new era for Rwanda and the continent. Innovation and entrepreneurship are key to heralding the fourth industrial revolution. The work of our 4IR Centers has always been important, but in this time of great global upheaval, it is more crucial than ever to build a better future together and use technology to achieve it. »

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Rwanda inaugurates the first African Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) dedicated to research and development in artificial intelligence


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