President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has expressed willingness to work with Chinese ICT powerhouse Huawei to construct ICT infrastructure in the tiny East African nation. Kagame was meeting Huawei Senior Vice President Lin Ruiqi in Kigali.
The President added that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Rwandan government and Huawei is very important and the Rwandan government will strongly support Huawei to implement the MOU referred ICT infrastructure projects as soon as possible, in order to connect the Rwandan people.
Ms. Lin Ruiqi said that all the projects under the MOU have been initiated. Huawei will continue to promote the implementation of the projects and help Rwanda to enhance the regional ICT influence.
In March this year, Huawei signed an MOU with the government of Rwanda to open all-round cooperation in the ICT industry. According to the MOU, Huawei will help Rwanda in building Regional Data Centers, National Broadband, Smart Grid and Smart Education among other infrastructures to promote Rwanda to become the regional ICT Hub.
Before their meeting, as the chairman of the Smart Africa Board, Kagame hosted the 5th Smart African Board Meeting. Huawei also attended the meeting as the ICT consultant and member.
Lin Ruiqi said in her speech, "to explore the way of development in line with Africa's actual need is particularly important to African countries' digital transformation. Huawei is willing to share its successful practice in the global ICT field with African countries. With Huawei's rich experience in local operations and advanced technology, products and services, we would like to help to build a "Smart Africa".
To discuss the way to accelerate the transformation of Africa, more than 30 African heads of state, heads of government and ministers attended the meeting, including Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada of São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa Minister of Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele, Nigeria Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu, and Kenya ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru among others.
Smart Africa is an innovation coalition initiated by African heads of state, aiming at improving the overall socio-economic development of the African continent by sharing knowledge and experience, providing affordable broadband access and other ICT technologies.