02 November 2019
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Hi, my name is Bobson RUGAMBWA
NEF Ambassador – Rwanda
Bobson Rugambwa is the CEO of MVend Limited, a Rwandan fintech that specializes in financial inclusion solutions for the underserved. He leads a team of young, passionate innovators creating digital solutions to digitize and formally include members of village savings and loans associations, a solution that has garnered interest and partnership Africa Evangelistic Enterprises, World Relief & National Women Council as well as funding from Access to Finance Rwanda. This solution also won the 2017 Reach for Change Changemakers competition in Rwanda. An Avid software & energy system engineer, and clean energy enthusiast, Bobson holds a Master of Science in information technology from Carnegie Mellon University where he served as the President of the Student Guild.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCIENCE IN Rwanda
Rwanda’s vision 2020 aims at turning Rwanda in a knowledge-based economy. Over the years, Rwanda has invested in science, technology with a special emphasis on ICTs as a way of achieving this goal. Major strides have been made in the areas of connectivity with the laying out of a national fiber optic backbone to improve internet connectivity with 4G network coverage now covering the whole country. Other programs such as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), establishment of incubation labs such as KLab that has opened its doors across all provinces of the country, creation of IPRCs( Integrated Polytechnic Regional Colleges) to foster practical science education as well as setting up centers of excellence in various fields as evidenced by the presence of world renown Carnegie Mellon University – a research university in Kigali are all bold steps by the East African nation in advancing the cause of science and technology as a means to achieving their national development goals. These strategic, and bold moves have seen an evolution of the landscape with more learning and research institutions such as the AIMS Quantum Leap Africa Research Centre, Andela – an American software developer training organization with operations in 3 other African cities, set shop in Rwanda, with the later planning to set up a Pan African hub. This year, at the Rwanda National Research and Innovation Symposium, The National Research and Innovation Fund (NRIF) was officially launched. Financed by the government and managed by the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), the fund will act as a seed facility that will mainly focus on the youth. The NCST is a body mandated with integrating science, technology, innovation and research into national development strategies and plans. Rwanda is now among a few African countries that have such a fund after South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.