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Rwanda becomes first African country to join WEF C4IR network

RWANDA – Rwanda has officially launched the center for the fourth industrial revolution (C4IR), the first centre in Africa, joining a network of 15 centres that spans four continents.

The C4IR is a partnership between the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Innovation of Rwanda and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The center, which was set up in 2020, intends to advance the fourth industrial revolution which the panelists defined as the ‘convergence of physical, digital and biological world, changing our ways of life and shaping our future driven by innovation.’

These centres shape new policies and technology governance strategies to enable agility through a fast-growing network. Rwanda’s C4IR will be focused on data governance, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

WEF has established this global network as a platform for multistakeholder collaboration bringing together public and private sectors to maximise technological benefits to society while minimising the risks associated with 4IR technologies.

C4IR has played a leading role in developing Rwanda’s landmark data protection and privacy legislation and co-designing its national AI policy. T

here are currently several pilot projects being conducted with the private sector on AI application in healthcare to examine how solutions can be scaled and governed responsibly.

“The launch of this centre is enabled by investments that we, as a country, have been making in science and technology,” said President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the centre’s opening ceremony.

“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.”

Rwanda will work with stakeholders around the world to design and pilot new approaches to technology governance in the country to help foster innovation inclusively and responsibly.

“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.

WEF President Børge Brende praised Rwandan leadership in a keynote address at the opening ceremony.

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