Rwanda Prime Minister Rt. Murekezi Anastase, India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) and FICCI recently announced the first initiative by India to begin showcasing and commercializing India technology and innovation in Africa, starting with the Republic of Rwanda.
The program is slated to be launched in 6 months and could become a hallmark of the next phase of the India-Africa relationship in which Indian innovations would be replicated in Africa to usher in the much needed socio-economic impact development.
On the sidelines of the India Africa Forum Summit III (IAFS III) held October 26-30, 2015, in Delhi, which saw the unprecedented participation of 54 African nations, FICCI and DST organized an interactive roundtable with Rt. Murekezi Anastase, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda.
Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI stated “as India’s leading industry chamber, FICCI has worked earnestly with DST, Government of India, to establish a G2G platform but one that will foster B2B relationships between India and Rwanda, and India and Africa.”
The rountable brought together key stakeholders from India and Rwanda for setting up an Indo – Rwanda Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program to provide Rwandan industry with leading edge Indian innovations and technologies across critical sectors wherein India will mentor Rwandan industry and build capacity. This platform will also bring in revenues for Indian technologies and innovations that primarily come from the small and medium sector entrepreneurs, providing new international markets to Indian innovations.
Valentine Rugwabiza, Minister from the Ministry of East African Community, Rwanda, stated that “the proposed program will be validated in Rwanda and the impact created will automatically open the doors for Indian technology and innovation to countries in East Africa and then rest of Africa.
FICCI through its Centre for Innovation, Science and Technology Commercialization that has been collaborating as private sector with Government of India’s DST and international partners has offered a portfolio of innovations and technologies to Rwanda, opening new opportunities and collaboration. In essence, this program by India has given teeth to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals by ensuring South-South cooperation. The proposed technologies come from diverse sectors that would be of direct relevance to Rwanda including Agriculture (Food Security - Production, Storage, Processing & transportation), Energy, Education, Healthcare, Water & Sanitation, Low Cost Housing, Infrastructure Development, Clean technology etc. Representative 10 technology-led innovations were showcased at the Roundtable that addressed the need in the above-mentioned sectors.
The Rwandan government wholeheartedly welcomed this initiative, with Prime Minister, Rt. Murekezi Anastase stating “Rwandan government guaranteed complete support to the Indian enterprises”. The Prime Minister was confident that “the impact created by demonstration of innovation and technology through this program will be an example for East Africa, and then the rest of the continent.” He added that H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, has ensured the creation of the most peaceful, secure and business friendly country in Africa. Rwanda ranks Number 2 with respect to ease of doing business in sub-Saharan Africa. A company can register a local entity and get license to start business within six hours, unparalleled in any other African country.