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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.

The Development of Rwanda’s National Artificial Intelligence Policy

August 31, 2020

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, will engage 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 harnessing digital technologies to achieve development goals. Rwanda now aims to mobilize 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 are intended to serve as robust roadmaps to achieve Rwanda’s national development and sustainable development goals. The Future Society’s team is led by Yolanda Lannquist and Nicolas Miailhe, and supported by Niki Iliadis and Tarek Besold, as well as Rwanda digital development and AI experts Philip Gasaatura and Patrick McSharry.

The development and adoption of AI have the potential to improve lives and livelihoods across Rwanda, as well as make progress towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, socio-economic opportunities are inextricably linked with serious risks. The design and implementation of a national policy requires rigorous planning and design and consideration of and adherence to strong ethical principles.

To this end, policy development will involve 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 with 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.

Update (March 2023): TFS supports multi-stakeholder workshops.

Update (April 2023): The Cabinet of Rwanda has approved the National AI Policy.

Featured image:Nyungwe Clouds” by Dpishko is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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