Rwanda has opened the first centre for the fourth industrial revolution, C4IR, in Africa, joining a global network of 15 centres spanning four continents.
The C4IR is a collaboration between Rwanda’s Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The centre, which was set up in 2020, intends to advance the fourth industrial revolution which the panellists defined as the ‘convergence of physical, digital and biological world, changing our ways of life and shaping our future driven by innovation.’
To enable agility through a rapidly increasing network, these centres shape new rules and technological governance strategies. Data governance, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will be the emphasis of Rwanda’s C4IR.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has formed this global network as a platform for multi stakeholder engagement, bringing together public and private sectors to maximise societal advantages while minimising dangers related with 4IR technology.
C4IR was a key player in the development of Rwanda’s landmark data protection and privacy legislation, as well as the co-design of the country’s national AI policy.
Several pilot projects on AI use in healthcare are now being done with the private sector to see how solutions may be scaled and managed ethically.
“The launch of this centre is enabled by investments that we, as a country, have been making in science and technology.
“I hope the centre will build on this by making the Fourth Industrial Revolution an equalising force and contributing solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges. We are very happy to have the World Economic Forum as a partner in this crucial and other endeavours,” said President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the centre’s opening ceremony.
Rwanda will collaborate with stakeholders from all over the world to develop and test new approaches to technology governance in the country, with the goal of fostering inclusive and responsible innovation.
“Building on Rwanda’s track record of reimagining regulation for emerging technologies, C4IR Rwanda plays a critical role in responsibly accelerating technological adoption,” said Crystal Rugege, Managing Director of C4IR Rwanda.
“We will use the centre as a catalyst for Africa to lead the world in shaping a more inclusive Fourth Industrial Revolution that addresses our unique challenges and unlocks more equitable opportunities for innovation and growth that deliver societal impact.”
“I have no doubt that the centre will herald a new era for Rwanda and the continent. Innovation and entrepreneurship are key in heralding the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.
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