21 March 2017

Rwanda: World Bank President Hails Rwanda's Use of Technology to Tackle Development Challenges

Rwanda's use of technology to tackle development challenges is something other developing countries should emulate -the World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim has said.

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who is in the country for a two-day official visit to discuss Rwanda's development achievements, innovations and the progress made in fostering private sector growth and development, toured Zipline drone port in Muhanga District to witness how drone technology is used to deliver health vitals such as blood to hospitals.

"This is really genius. In fact it was completely different from what I expected. We've seen all of those multi-rotator drones going in and out but the problem with those drones is they don't move quickly. Zipline actually built these planes and they fly ten times faster than typical drones that you see and they are able to deliver blood anywhere from about 10 to 15 US dollars per unit delivery which is without a question affordable. It should just be in every country in the world," Dr. Kim said.

Though he expressed his concerns about technology limiting some jobs in developing countries, President Kim pointed out that Rwanda has shown an example of how to use latest technology to have a positive impact on society.

"This is what we need. This is the first time this has ever been done in the history of the world by using the very latest technology to leapfrog generations and help the people of Rwanda meet their aspirations," Dr. Kim noted.

He urged expanded use of the drones to include other kinds of emergency drugs, vaccines, as well as how right medication for people having heart attacks, strokes can be delivered faster.

The World Bank President also toured the Special Economic Zone where he visited several factories including C&H Garments as well as Africa Fortified foods where he discussed the role and contribution of private sector in development. Dr. Kim also visited K-Lab where he had an interactive discussion with Rwanda's young innovators in ICT.

During the second day of his visit, World Bank President will hold a public lecture on the theme "Addressing today's challenges for a prosperous future" before touring a social protection project in Kinyana village, Gasabo District.

The Word Bank has been in partnership with Rwanda since 1963. The current Country Partnership Strategy (2014-2018) was endorsed by the Board in June 2014. Rwanda's portfolio comprises of 10 projects with net commitments of US $ 802.40 Million spread across various sectors: Agriculture (35 percent); Energy (30 percent); Governance (13 percent), Urban development (12 percent) and Transport (Six percent). Rwanda also participates in six regional projects with the national commitment amounting to US $ 204 Million.

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