Rwanda, of all places, is routinely expressing ambitions to become the, "Silicon Valley of East-Central Africa." According to a posting on the World Resources Institute's Next Billion website on January 31, 2007, there are some reasons to think that there is a certain amount of reality attached to these ambitions.
In a burst of resilience after the genocidal horrors of the mid-1990s, Rwanda's government-with a fair amount of aid participation-decided to invest in a sub sector of the country's human capital. Specifically, the government focused on people who could develop into "techies." And with this in mind, opened the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in 1997. Kigali is the capital of Rwanda.
"Since then KIST has graduated thousands of Rwandan tech experts and is now recognized as a leader in the development of biogas technology and renewable energy." In addition to energy experts, KIST also graduated specialists in Information Technology (IT) and this small but growing pool of professionals was used to attract foreign investors.
And, "It didn't take long to attract telecommunications and software companies," according to the Next Billion posting, which was authored by two global development consultants, one a former World Bank official.
One of the results of this development effort has been to stimulate the fiber-optic...