Becoming The 'Singapore of Africa'

<p>Government officials in Rwanda are looking to the high-tech sector as a way to bring the country into economic viability. Rwanda is wiring up in hopes of becoming Africa's tech center.</p>
October 21, 2007, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Sometime in the next two years, nearly every school in Rwanda – from distant mountain villages to swelling urban areas – will be hooked up to the Internet. And it won't be some crummy dial-up service. It will be high-speed broadband, carried by fiber-optic cables."

"The fact that Rwanda is closing in on this goal without having the massive oil wealth of Angola or Sudan, the diamonds of Congo or South Africa, or even the copper of nearby Zambia is a testimony to the power of imagination. And Rwanda imagines that one day, it will be the information technology center of Africa."

"Rwanda's dream of becoming the Singapore of Africa – an information-technology hub for the resource-rich nations of Eastern and Central Africa – is a point of pride for the government, a matter of concern for some Rwandans, and a curiosity for just about everyone else."

"Government officials and business leaders see high-tech as the best way to lift one of the world's least-developed countries into a better position to compete globally. Local human rights activists fret that Rwanda's money could be better spent on things like drinking water and electricity."

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Published on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in The Christian Science Monitor
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