Parliament on April 20 ratified the Smart Africa Alliance agreement, which aims to transform Africa into a digital single market and promote the use of technology and innovation across the African continent by 2030.
The move was presented by the Minister of ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire, and was highly welcomed by the plenary sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, after 20 member countries ratified the agreement during the 10th Smart Africa Board Meeting on November 10, 2021.
This comes as Rwanda seeks to further establish itself as a leading player in Africa's digital economy, following its successful adoption of e-government and e-commerce initiatives in recent years.
Ingabire said it is of great importance to ratify the agreement ahead of the sixth Transform Africa Summit which will be held in Zimbabwe from April 26 to 28 at the Victoria Falls.
Smart Africa Alliance was launched in 2013 and now consists of 36 member countries, international organisations and global private sector players tasked with Africa's digital agenda.
The alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development of the continent.This will usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICT.
According to the Minister, the Smart Africa alliance is expected to solve the issue of roaming barriers as the cost of connectivity remains a major barrier to broadband penetration in the continent.
"Every single country must have its project in member countries and make sure the project's implementation and championing is maximised," Ingabire said.
Referring to Rwanda, Ingabire revealed that there is the Smart City project which provides a framework to guide local areas in their efforts to harness ICT and provide better quality services for all.
Rwanda has also pledged to work closely with members of the alliance to promote the adoption of common ICT policies and standards across the continent, with the aim of creating a more integrated and inclusive digital ecosystem with easy and affordable internet access.
"In order to meet international capacities, Starlink was licensed to operate in the country, which increased the competition for the existing internet selling companies," Ingabire said.
"This led to a reduction of price for internet packages. As the price goes down, everyone will be able to access the internet with less amount of money charged."