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Only a matter of time before Africa takes the lead

Any excuse to use a pic of Madiba, but there is more to this …

NsengimanaJean-Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s minister for youth and information communication technology, said on Thursday that it was just a matter of time before Africa lifted its ambitions above catching up with the rest of the world and start leading.

Talking to the African News Agency (ANA) on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Africa meetings in the Rwandan capital, Nsengimana said: “It is just a matter of time before Africa realises that there is a limit to how much you can do if you keep having a mindset of catching up.

“I think there has to be a mindset of trying to lead, especially in this Fourth industrial Revolution, which is unfolding as we speak.”

The minister, whose portfolio has been critical in Rwanda’s renaissance from war-torn disaster area to a promising and fast-growing digital hub, said good leadership on a national level had been key to the country’s digital revolution.

“Good leadership makes a huge difference,” he said.

He referred to former British prime minister Tony Blair’s comments during a session at the WEF meetings on Wednesday that there were things that didn’t change and things that kept changing, and among the things that didn’t change was the critical importance of leadership.

Nsengimana said: “The leadership of Paul Kagame has made a big difference in making this work. Everyone understands it, everyone gets it, but not everyone is able to make it work.”

In terms of this ICT revolution expanding beyond Rwanda, he said Kagame had been a champion of ICT in the African Union. He said the dream was for it to be pan-African and, to this end, he said “a number of initiatives were converging nicely”.

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