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Turkey targets Rwanda's ICT sector

By , ITWeb
Africa , 21 Jun 2012

Turkey targets Rwanda's ICT sector

Turkish multi-industry holding group Yda is in talks with the Rwanda Development Board 's ICT department to invest in a data centre in the country.

A new data centre will be in addition to the $5m National Data Center (NDC), one of the region's best, which was co-financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The NDC connects and allows secure access to information from government offices, and provides back up information for companies and Non Governmental Organizations commercially.

The potential investment comes as Rwanda has become a 'sweet spot' for Turkish investors registering businesses with a growing investor pipeline and

The surge in Turkish interest in the country follows the opening of a Rwandan consulate in the Turkish capital Istanbul in September last year.

Other countries are also eyeing the opportunities in Rwanda's ICT sector.

Early this year, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) signed a $6.7 million contract with Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited to provide 1.244 Gbps of internet bandwidth.

The RDB hopes that these inputs, together with other ICT related investments, will make Rwanda East Africa's ICT hub as it reduces its dependency on agriculture.

Rwanda has transformed its economy since the 1994 genocide, to become East Africa's preferred investment destination for foreign investors.

The World Bank’s 2012 Doing Business Report ranks Rwanda in 45th position for ease of doing business worldwide and the 1st in East Africa.

The country's ambitious plan to become a middle income country by 2020 is gaining momentum, and being driven mostly by the private sector.

Other than the Governments own investment in developing ICT infrastructure, the RDB has over the last three years attracted more than $ 500 million towards the ICT sector.

Some of the investments that are likely to transform Rwanda into an ICT hub include its $93 million worth 2,500 kilometre fiber optic cable throughout the country, with 9 regional links to neighboring countries, Wireless Broadband in Kigali, an ICT Park to incubate start-ups and implementation of the One Laptop per Primary School Child that is aimed at increasing the use of ICT in education.

Last year, the RDB's mobile ICT buses which seek to bridge the digital divide, especially among the rural population, reached over 1,500 .

Rwanda is also investing $24 million in Regional Communication Infrastructure to connect the country to the global network.

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