Rwanda’s Artificial Intelligence ecosystem is growing which creates the need to define ethical standards for the use of AI through an AI Policy. Read here how this will enable Rwanda to channel AI’s transformative power while mitigating the risks and ethical concerns that the technology entails.
Developing Rwanda's National AI Policy together

With new solutions such as the RBC Mbaza AI Chatbot for COVID-19 information evolving, Rwanda’s Artificial Intelligence ecosystem shows its growth potential. However, for this growth to be sustainable and more importantly for it to become an engine of the country’s economy and societal development, AI transformative power should be channeled into areas in which it can take advantage of the existing strengths of Rwanda’s digital ecosystem. AI Policy is an effective channeling tool which allows AI to contribute to the socio-economic transformation of Rwanda and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals while mitigating the risks and ethical concerns that the technology entails. The policy creates a roadmap with clear objectives for the country, which is supported by agile policy frameworks that foster innovation between actors and a prioritization of areas that enables the country to reap the potential of AI.

Where is Rwanda on AI Policy?

Rwanda has established itself as a frontrunner in Africa with regards to AI policy. In 2020, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) embarked on a journey to develop the country’s national AI policy. Supported by the Digital Transformation Center through the FAIR Forward project and The Future Society, MINICT together with key stakeholders has defined six priority areas for effective AI policy in Rwanda. The result of this partnership is The National AI Policy which is currently being validated by the Government of Rwanda.
Rwanda National AI Policy - Six Priority Areas
At the same time, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has been developing ethical guidelines for the use of AI that are supposed to guide AI developers in Rwanda on how to mitigate the risks and harms that the technology might entail.

Fostering Global Exchange and Capacity-building for AI Policy Makers

AI skills and literacy is one of the prioritized areas for AI policy in Rwanda. But this does not only entail re-skilling and up-skilling the workforce. Instead, the need to have the necessary skills and understanding of this technology starts by the policy makers that are in charge of crafting and implementing AI Policies. Therefore, FAIR Forward has established the Africa-Asia AI Policy maker network with policy makers (such as ministries of ICT and regulatory authorities) from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and India. The objective? To equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful AI policymakers, while fostering the exchange between these countries. The latter is key, as AI policy cannot be considered only at the national level. Instead, national governments have the unique opportunity to share AI policy together which is still at a nascent stage at the global level.

The development of the National AI Policy is only one of the activities we support at the DigiCenter. If you would like to get to know more about our work, have a look at our solutions and events, and follow us on social media.

Get in Touch