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President Paul Kagame has said that the increase in digitalising cross-border trade processes has yielded efficient results.

He was speaking at a virtual dialogue of ‘The Digital Revolution: Fostering Inclusion and Resilient Growth’ forum organised by the World Bank Group on April 20.

The Head of State explained the different key steps taken by Rwanda and regional countries in advancing the digitalisation efforts, gains made so far, and what more can be done in that regard.

On the efforts made in harmonising cross-border movement, President Kagame gave an example of one clearinghouse created that hosts officials from both sides to cross-check that people have fulfilled what is required of them on spot with the use of technology, thus speeding up businesses and services.

“We are beginning to see development in this area and good progress,” he said.

When it comes to cross-border payment systems, Kagame highlighted that there has been an effort made across the region with reference to the monetary union convergence in EAC under which different harmonisation activities will be undertaken to ease movement and therefore the currencies within the payment system as it is.

By end of March, partner states were on track to attaining criteria for the establishment of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) set to be concluded in 2024.

For the integrated market to benefit the people, Kagame said that it involves a cross-section of things such as governance, connectivity, and funding to make sure that this market reaches its full potential.

“We want to make sure that the strength we have, the resources that are in abundance benefit our citizens. However, this potential will only be realized if there is adequate funding from investors and international financial institutions,” he pointed out.

Particularly, he added that the funding would come in hand for early-stage ventures because “most efforts noted are by small and medium enterprises which often lack funding to accelerate what they are doing.”

Data protection aspect

With risks that come with availing information across different digital channels, Kagame said that people have to think about safety in all forms.

“One has to be aware of the risks involved with these new technologies and take steps to make sure they are mitigated but at the same time harness the productivity, efficiencies, and all values entailed,” he added.

In the Rwandan context, he cited that the recently launched Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in Kigali has played an instrumental in the development of data protection and privacy law which was adopted last year.

“There are these laws that are being developed to make sure that data protection is of essence and it also allows fostering of trust which will, in turn, promote innovation and facilitate cross border data flows,” he noted.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Alice Kagina

Quelle/Source: The New Times, 20.04.2022

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