I spent this morning in Kigale with Ignace Gatari, the phenomenally smart Rwandan ICT minister.
Elsewhere, Gordon Brown (who recently joined the WWW Foundation) met Ignace’s boss, president Kagame, in New York to discuss the same thinrg-.Rwanda’s remarkable response to the opportunities made possible by the digital economy. Ignace described the how fibre-optic cables which every driver in Rwanda can see being dug in roadside across the country will exponentially improve speed of access and Rwandan participation on the web. We spoke about all the issues which come up in a similar discussion in the UK – platform merging, IPR, plausibility of net-neutrality, and infrastucture stuff: cable and wireless, broadband speeds etc.
One theme shone through out our discussion, Rwanda’s astonishing determination to establish itself as a regional leader and knowledge economy and the practical plans which are already well underway. It’s simply breathtaking that this country seems likely to move from the lowest place any nation could be to being a middle-income country with a thriving knowledge economy within 20 years. I hope to have Ignace speak to the Digital Economy all Party Parliamentary Group (DEAPPG) quite soon.
And now, awestruck and knackered, I’m going to bed.