The Digital Cooperation Organization organized a workshop Considers Policy Options to Boost Digital Foreign Direct Investment in Rwanda

Ain Alalam – Rashad Iskandrni

 

15 May:  The Digital Cooperation Organization, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation in Rwanda and the World Economic Forum, held a workshop in Kigali, the capital of the Republic of Rwanda, to discuss options for enhancing the policy of digital foreign direct investment in Rwanda. The event brought together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors working in Rwanda’s digital economy.

Under the auspices of the Hon. Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, the workshop aimed to deliberate on findings and policy options emerging from the Digital FDI Enabling Project from over 50 interviews in Rwanda and a survey of 104 investors operating in the market. This initiative, reflective of the Government of Rwanda’s steadfast commitment to fostering economic growth, particularly within the digital realm, seeks to enable FDI into Rwanda’s digital activities.

Facilitated by the DCO and the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG), the workshop generated in-depth discussions on policy options aimed at enabling increased FDI inflows into Rwanda’s digital economy. Stakeholders, comprising policymakers, regulators, investors, enterprises, associations, development partners, civil society, and academia, engaged in deliberations throughout the full-day workshop.

Policy options under consideration encompassed a wide array of topics, spanning regulatory frameworks, institutional arrangements, incentives for digital infrastructure, and access to financing, among other. The workshop underscored the importance of initiatives such as enabling the establishment and licensing of domestic data centres, facilitating cloud storage, enhancing Rwanda’s competitiveness in the regional and international investment landscape, positioning Rwanda as a hub for digital services exports, and fostering a skilled workforce through targeted training programs focused on digital issues.

Hon. Paula Ingabire remarks on the workshop: “We are grateful for the continued support from the Digital Cooperation Organization and the World Economic Forum and our joint efforts to boost Rwanda’s digital economy. The workshop that is being held in Kigali is the latest development in our efforts to make Rwanda’s investment friendly. We remain committed to growing the ICT sector and positioning it as a significant contributor for our economy. Attracting further investment into the digital economy in Rwanda will create countless jobs, grow our knowledge base and position us into a regional hub for ICT and Innovation and the workshop held in Kigali today will allow us to identify the critical policy interventions that will position us to do so.”

Commenting on this workshop, the Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organization, Deemah AlYahya, said: “Our gratitude to Rwanda, Hon. Minister Paula Ingabire, and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation for facilitating, in collaboration with the Digital Cooperation Organization and the World Economic Forum, a successful consultation and validation workshop in Kigali. The active and engaged participation by all attendees, with a keen focus on identifying the required policies, regulations, and measures to enable these investment flows, is a step forward in linking capital with digital investment opportunities in Rwanda. Since Rwanda’s addition to the DFDI initiative in 2023, it has successfully executed the Diagnostics and Interviews & Surveys phases. We look forward to seeing Rwanda complete the implementation of the DFDI initiatives and significantly increase its potential to bring not only capital, but also knowledge, technology, and job opportunities to the nation.”

The insights gathered from the workshop will inform the Digital FDI Enabling Project’s strategic direction and activities over the coming year, propelling Rwanda towards a more robust and inclusive digital economy poised for sustained growth and prosperity.