The government of Rwanda and the Development Gateway Foundation have agreed to extend their cooperative agreement for an additional three years, to consolidate and strengthen the position of Rwanda as a regional leader in information and communications technology (ICT) for development.
The agreement calls for a commitment by the Rwandan government to spend $3.5 million in Rwanda to reinforce and extend current programs run jointly with the foundation under the aegis of the Rwanda Development Gateway Group. The programs include the Rwanda Development Gateway, the Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing Center at the National University of Rwanda, and the Rwanda ICT Research and Training Center at the Kigali Institute of Technology.
The Development Gateway Foundation will continue to support Rwanda in four ways. It will provide technical and strategic assistance to these programs, assist in the development of aid effectiveness products that can be marketed by the Rwanda Development Gateway Group, offer contracting services to the group, and promote international partnerships within the Development Gateway Foundation network. The foundation’s regional coordinator for Africa, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, is based at the Rwanda Development Gateway Group.
Romain Murenzi, minister of science, technology and scientific research, in the Rwandan president’s office, said, “We welcome this opportunity to renew and expand our work with the foundation. This agreement recognizes Rwanda’s achievements in establishing itself as a regional leader in information and communications technology for development, and will enable us to further strengthen this leadership role.”
Mark Fleeton, CEO of the Development Gateway Foundation, said, “This is an important new phase in our collaboration with Rwanda. We see Rwanda as a key regional center in our overall strategy of scaling up the foundation’s programs in Africa.”
Rwanda joined the Development Gateway Foundation in 2002 as a founding member and is represented on the executive committee of its board of directors by Mr. Murenzi.
Mr. Fleeton visited Rwanda from Oct. 7 to 14, with senior staff members of the Development Gateway Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. Their visit was hosted by Mr. Murenzi. During their visit they met with the ministers of finance and education, as well as the minister of state in charge of energy and communications. They also the opportunity to meet with representatives of government agencies and the private sector, as well as to view work under way on the erection of communications facilities on Mount Karisimbi. On Oct. 14, Mr. Fleeton met with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. During the meeting the president pledged his continued support of the work of the Development Gateway Foundation.