The government of Rwanda and the Development Gateway Foundation have agreed to extend their cooperative agreement for an additional three years, to consolidate and strengthen the position of Rwanda as a regional leader in information and communications technology (ICT) for development.
The agreement calls for a commitment by the Rwandan government to spend $3.5 million in Rwanda to reinforce and extend current programs run jointly with the foundation under the aegis of the Rwanda Development Gateway Group. The programs include the Rwanda Development Gateway, the Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing Center at the National University of Rwanda, and the Rwanda ICT Research and Training Center at the Kigali Institute of Technology.
The Development Gateway Foundation will continue to support Rwanda in four ways. It will provide technical and strategic assistance to these programs, assist in the development of aid effectiveness products that can be marketed by the Rwanda Development Gateway Group, offer contracting services to the group, and promote international partnerships within the Development Gateway Foundation network. The foundation’s regional coordinator for Africa, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, is based at the Rwanda Development Gateway Group.
Romain Murenzi, minister of science, technology and scientific research, in the Rwandan president’s office, said, “We welcome this opportunity to renew and expand our work with the foundation. This agreement recognizes Rwanda’s achievements in establishing itself as a regional leader in information and communications technology for development, and will enable us to further strengthen this leadership role.”
Mark Fleeton, CEO of the Development Gateway Foundation, said, “This is an important new phase in our collaboration with Rwanda. We see Rwanda as a key regional center in our overall strategy of scaling up the foundation’s programs in Africa.”
Rwanda joined the Development Gateway Foundation in 2002 as a founding member and is represented on the executive committee of its board of directors by Mr. Murenzi.
Mr. Fleeton visited Rwanda from Oct. 7 to 14, with senior staff members of the Development Gateway Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. Their visit was hosted by Mr. Murenzi. During their visit they met with the ministers of finance and education, as well as the minister of state in charge of energy and communications. They also the opportunity to meet with representatives of government agencies and the private sector, as well as to view work under way on the erection of communications facilities on Mount Karisimbi. On Oct. 14, Mr. Fleeton met with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. During the meeting the president pledged his continued support of the work of the Development Gateway Foundation.
Representatives from Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) will be attending the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) from September 5-9 in Kigali, Rwanda to highlight two projects: the Visualizing Insights on African Agriculture (VIFAA) project and the Farmer-Centric Data Governance Models project.
In Episode 2 of "Data…for What?!," a podcast series from Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) which explores our new strategic plan, Josh Powell met with experts from DG and IREX to discuss DG’s expansion into the education, media and disinformation, and youth sectors. The conversations explore the most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities for data and technology to positively impact these sectors and discuss how these trends are likely to play out in the years ahead. Based on these trends, the experts explain the unique fit for DG’s skills and specific opportunities for collaboration that align with the vision of DG’s partnership with IREX, which has a long and successful history working in each sector.
To help contextualize the new Strategic Plan, we are launching a podcast series called Data… for What?! This series consists of 5 episodes in Josh Powell and Vanessa Goas talk to DGers throughout the organization – as well as collaborators within our strategic partner, IREX - about how and why we prioritized the various elements of the new strategy. In this first episode, we talk to Kristin Lord, President and CEO of IREX about how our partnership fits into the Strategic Plan; and to Aleks Dardelli, Executive Vice President of IREX and Chair of DG’s Board of Directors, about the process of putting the Plan together at this opportune, yet precarious, global moment.