This article was published by The Future Society in Advisory Services, Policy Research, The AI Initiative on August 31, 2020

The Development of Rwanda’s National Artificial Intelligence Policy

Main insight

The Future Society is supporting Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) and Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and GIZ FAIR Forward to develop Rwanda’s national artificial intelligence strategy.

Advisory ServicesPolicy ResearchThe AI Initiative
August 31, 2020
2 min read

In 2020-2021, The Government of Rwanda represented by Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) and Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) with implementation by GIZ FAIR Forward have engaged The Future Society to support the development of Rwanda’s National Artificial Intelligence Policy.

The Republic of Rwanda has visionary objectives and a proven track record of achieving development goals and harnessing digital technologies for development. Rwanda aims to harness AI, digital and emerging technologies to support Rwanda’s development goals (including sustainable and inclusive growth), become an ICT and Innovation Hub, and position Rwanda as a leader on the African and global stage.

A comprehensive national AI policy, AI ethical guidelines, and a practical implementation strategy can serve as a powerful roadmap to achieve Rwanda’s national development and sustainable development goals. The Future Society’s team includes Rwanda digital development and AI experts Philip Gasaatura and Patrick McSharry and is led by Yolanda Lannquist and Nicolas Miailhe with Niki Iliadis and Tarek Besold.

The development and adoption of AI has the potential to dramatically improve lives and livelihoods across Rwanda, as well as make remarkable progress towards achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, the socio-economic opportunities are inextricably connected with serious risks which in turn require rigorous planning and design, as well as consideration of and adherence to strong ethical principles throughout the entire lifecycle from strategy inception to operational implementation.

The strategy development involves in-depth analysis, sectoral and cross-sectoral, of the local strengths, needs, opportunities, challenges, policies (e.g. Rwanda’s Data Revolution Policy, Vision 2050, Smart Rwanda Master Plan, etc.) and meaningful engagement of local stakeholders. Ultimately, the strategic aim is to accelerate AI adoption in key sectors and public services – in order to achieve clearly defined objectives linked to public impact, economic & employment growth, sustainable development, and capacity building in Rwanda.

Second Stakeholder Workshop for Rwanda’s National AI Policy (February, 2021)

Internet Governance Forum Rwanda (September, 2021)

Learn more about work program National AI Policies for Inclusive & Sustainable Development.