WEF Spotlight on Rwanda11/05/2016
Today, Rwanda will host The World Economic Forum (WEF) for the first time, drawing the world’s foremost political and business leaders to this small East African nation.
From Kigali’s tidy sidewalks to its rapidly proliferating skyscrapers, Rwanda’s remarkable progress and increasing global significance haven’t happened by accident.
Since 2005, Rwanda has implemented the largest number of business regulatory reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa. From cutting bureaucracy— the number of days to start a business has been cut from 14 to three— to improving infrastructure—Rwanda has laid 5,000 km of fibre optic cable across the country—to reducing corruption—Rwanda is ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda is on a mission.
The signs are everywhere: kLab, Kigali’s bright and airy innovation hub has spawned 45 companies and 200 entrepreneurs since opening its doors in 2012; “Face the Gorillas,” is a Rwandan television riff on the popular American reality television show ‘Shark Tank’ where entrepreneurs compete for investment on primetime; Rwanda has climbed from 139th to 62nd in only ten years on the World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings.
Rwanda is also positioning itself to become one of the world’s leading conference destinations.
The Kigali Convention Center (KCC) is a $300 million hilltop development that will be able to hold 2,600 people and is slated to be opened this May. A host of international hotels, including Radisson Blu, Marriott, Park Inn, Sheraton, and Kempinski, boasting over 1,000 high-end rooms are set to open in Kigali over the next five years. The recently expanded Kigali International Airport expects annual passenger flow to be tripled in comparison to past years.
Despite the recent and rapid developments, this isn’t Rwanda’s first rodeo. Kigali has already hosted two Transform Africa Summits, as well as the 49th Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank, and the 84th Interpol Annual General Assembly, accommodating thousands of guests at each event.
As East Africa’s leading speaker’s bureau with a mandate to shine a spotlight on regional talent we’re thrilled WEF is giving Rwanda’s talent its due.
Aphrodice Mutangana is the General Manager of kLab and at 30 years old he is also the founder of FOYO, a mobile app that provides pharmaceutical information and the Incike Initiative, a mobile crowd funding app for elderly survivors of Rwanda’s devastating genocide.
The forum will also be drawing talent from across the continent including co-chair Tony Elumelu, the visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropist and our own Beatrice Marshall, one of Africa’s leading television anchors, who will be moderating a session on trade.
Given this year’s theme, “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation,” Rwanda really couldn’t be better placed to host today’s brightest and most exciting minds.Read more Read less