We have been invited to the ICT for Education, Training & Skills Development fairs in the capital of Rwanda – Kigali. They took place on September 26-28, 2018. During the fairs our company had the opportunity to present our services and products at the Wielkopolska brand stand, together with other companies and Universities from the Wielkopolska region. The undertaking was implemented as part of a non-competitive project “Gospodarna Wielkopolska” co-financed from the resources of the Wielkopolska Regional Operational Program for 2014-2020, Measure 1.4: Internationalization of the regional economy, Sub-measure 1.4.2: Economic promotion of the region.
The Codeall project has been presented at the fairs. It is a tool for learning programming using the Internet of Things sensors and intelligent chatbot, which qualified, among others to the Swiss Kickstart acceleration program, to the Google Launchpad Start acceleration program, won the first place in the Edulab program and received over 1,5 million PLN support from the National Center for Research and Development.
We did not know what to expect while flying here. Only 24 years ago, genocide took place in Rwanda. It was caused by the riots between two groups of the population – Tutsi and Hutu – over one million people died in just 100 days, and more than two million fled to neighboring countries.
Today Rwanda is called the Switzerland of Africa. The country is developing very fast, it is very friendly to entrepreneurs. The Poles living here say that by comparing the ease of running a business in Rwanda with other African countries, it can be said that it is heaven and the earth. The country is very safe (although on the streets armed soldiers can be seen from time to time – maybe that is why it is safe), the level of corruption is very low, official matters are easily dealt with. Many foreign companies invest huge amounts of money here in business – including Poles. Visiting the industrial zone, we got to the newly opened Volkswagen factory.
The country is very green, it cares about ecology (e.g. it is forbidden to bring and use plastic bags), and people are very friendly. The official languages are French and English. Rwanda has the same time zone as Poland, which definitely facilitates business.
Of course, there are trivial problems. I went to the printing house yesterday evening, but the owner was not able to carry out the order because the electricity was turned off. Fortunately, he quickly organized himself, went to a different place and after two hours he delivered me ready prints straight to the hotel.
Today we are after the first day of the conference. Companies from Germany, Finland, Great Britain and many others have their stands here. Rwanda is a poor country compared to the European countries but is developing fast. Education is one of the government’s priorities.