KIGALI SERENA HOSTS BOTH TRIPARTITE AND ‘TRANSFORM AFRICA SUMMIT’
(Posted 30th October 2013)
The Kigali Serena Hotel, without argument Kigali’s best city hotel and subsequently awarded the World Travel Award during the Africa award ceremony earlier in the month in Nairobi, is currently hosting the ‘Transform Africa Summit’ to which the Rwandan government has invited key partners from across the continent. This follows hot on the heels of the Tripartite Summit between hosts Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, where a range of issues was reviewed and progress measured towards various goals aimed to make the movement of goods and people easier come 2014.
Rwanda has in recent years positioned itself as an upcoming ICT hub country and since linking up to the fibre optic cables from the Indian Ocean coast at Mombasa has progressively rolled out internet connectivity across the entire country. Public service vehicles increasingly offer in car WiFi and many hotspots in Kigali now offer free connectivity to locals and visitors alike while most hotels provide free internet access. Visitors to Rwanda’s capital of Kigali now habitually surf the net when searching for hotels, restaurants and other things to do, bringing home the full benefits of online sales opportunities for the country’s hospitality and tourism industry. Schools have been connected for free too by the main ISP’s which has hugely assisted school administrative staff but also the pupils who were equipped with small laptop computers under the ‘One Laptop Per Child’ policy the government in Kigali has launched two years ago. This is aimed to not only to make the next generation of Rwandans computer and internet literate but to empower the next generation in social and economic ways difficult to imagine just a few years ago.
Present at the summit, besides head of state designated representatives, are presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Salva Kiir from South Sudan – these three also attending the Tripartite Summit where South Sudan was present as an observer – and Blaise Compaore from Burkina Faso besides Ibrahim Boubacar from Mali. Those interested in the summit proceedings can watch updates and sessions via the following links: ’http://www.orinfor.gov.rw/tvr/watchtv1.php and http://www.youtube.com/user/transformafrica2013.