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Ericsson, Rwanada sign agreement on smart city initiative

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By Emeka Aginam, in Barcelona, Spain

World leader in Communications and technology and services, Ericsson yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MUo ) with Government of Republic of Rwanda on smart Rwanda project.

From left:Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister, Youth and ICT, Rwanda and Fredrik Ledling, President, Ericsson, Sub-Sharan Africa yesterday at the signing in of Memoranda of Understanding between Ericsson and Government of Republic of  Rwanda on smart city initiative at the ongoing Mobile World Congress holding in Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Emeka Aginam
From left:Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister, Youth and ICT, Rwanda and Fredrik Ledling, President, Ericsson, Sub-Sharan Africa yesterday at the signing in of Memoranda of Understanding between Ericsson and Government of Republic of Rwanda on smart city initiative at the ongoing Mobile World Congress holding in Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Emeka Aginam

The project is part of the Rwandan vision 2020 and its subsequent mid-term economic development and poverty reduction (the EDPRS II) and the ICT sector strategic plan from 2013 through 2018.

The project is part government initiative that seeks to apply the power of ICT in the development agenda to transform the social and economic development of the country.

With the new development, Ericsson will provide ICT infrastructure to help Rwanda achieve its ICT for development vision, one village at a time.

Speaking yesterday during the signing of the agreement at the ongoing Mobile World Congress holding Barcelona, the President Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, Fredrik Ledling, told African IT Journalists that the project is part of the vision to drive smart Africa.

According to him, ”Ericsson will invest in ICT infrastructure and also implement the project. We are committed to helping other countries to build smart city. We are happy to drive African mission to Rwanda. We will deploy smart solutions for Rwanda smart city initiative. We are pushing to expand smart Rwanda to other countries. The focus is on education, health, agriculture, service sector, among others. We are also discussing with other African countries in the same project”.

Also speaking, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister, Youth and ICT, Rwanda said with the optimism that the project will enable Rwanada to achieve its vision 20-2020 agenda.

He said that structured deployment of ICTs can have maximum impact. Areas to cover in the project, according to him will include, smart education, smart healthcare, smart governance, , smart business, smart agriculture, agriculture, job, infrastructure, among others.

“Ericsson has been our partner in the roll out plan. Rwanda is steadily moving towards its vision of becoming an information-rich and knowledge-based economy and society and an ICT hub in the region¨ he said.

According to him, key to the success of smart Rwanda is sustainability of all the country´s interventions. Our strategy will be to rely on the much needed private sector resources and capabilities, he said.

The concept of ‘smart cities’ has become synonymous with high-tech urban innovation in developed countries, where technology-based solutions leverage existing infrastructure in innovative ways to solve the daily challenges of city life.

However, the concept is more than about employing advanced technologies. Smart cities efficiently drive sustainable economic growth, competitiveness, prosperity and a better life for citizens through smart solutions.

Meanwhile, at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2015, Ericsson is showcasing a wide range of security solutions including an innovative concept developed with Intel to improve 4G security.

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