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Rwanda Becomes Second East African Country to Host the World Economic Forum

Rwanda will host the 26th annual World Economic Forum on Africa starting from Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th. More than 1,500 delegates from global and regional corporations are expected to attend this summit.

The theme of this year’s summit is: Connecting Africa’s Resources Through Digital Transformation.

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This will be the second time that the WEF is being held in East Africa, and the first time in Kigali, Rwanda, which is only widely known for the genocide which began in 1994. Regardless, Rwanda has dramatically transformed its economy, emerging as a regional high-tech hub that boasts one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest GDP growth rates. It is one of the continent’s most competitive economies and a top reformer in improving the business environment. In the past two years it has successfully hosted several notable conferences like the pan-African AfDB Annual Meeting in 2014, Transform Africa Summit in 2013 and 2015, and the 84th Interpol General Assembly in 2015. Rwanda is expected to host the African Union Summit in July and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in October, this year.

This year’s event ties together a range of themes, from how to take advantage of widespread use of technology, to how to close the vast gender gap in several sub-Saharan economies.

This forum focuses heavily on the 4th industrial revolution – simply put, how tech can be best used to speed up growth, financial inclusion, and the delivery of public and private sector services.

Since roughly 1 in 5 Africans have internet access, and the bulk of sub-Saharan GDP is concentrated in agriculture, fierce debates are expected on why the continent should be focusing on tech, instead of agriculture.

 

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