Rwanda’s technology landscape could experience a major shift, especially for the under-utilized talent as the country joins forces with TEK Experts to establish a know-how support centre in Kigali this year.
This was confirmed by the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, during an exclusive interview with The New Times on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
TEK Experts is a leading global provider of business and IT support services and a developer of technologies that enhance the customer experience by enabling their teams to work more effectively.
According to Minister Ingabire, Rwanda will become the second country to establish technology support centre in Africa, after Nigeria.
Their services include software support, training and education, customer success, application development among others.
She noted that following approval of the facility by the cabinet meeting held on Monday, January 18, the firm has now embarked on groundwork.
“Operations will kick-off between July and August, but they have already started with talent search in the country as well as market scanning,” she said.
Ingabire noted that the development brings with it hundreds of jobs for the teeming number of both the unemployed and underutilized talent within the country’s tech industry.
“Training is a big component of this project. And there will also be a subsidy. We will have a team of 1,000 employees where only 40 per cent will be foreign workforce. But initially, they will have 100 Rwandans on board.”
She added, “We are working with universities to get a good pipeline of eligibility to improve the skills and expertise of young Rwandans within the sector.”
Minister Ingabire revealed that contrary to Nigeria, the firm will be established under a pan-Africanist approach.
“Talent will be searched for across Africa. They will be in charge of mainly employee training on both technical IT and soft skills,” said Ingabire, adding, “It is customer care at the end of the day; besides IT skills, there is a strong demand for languages including fluent English and French. But they also need soft skills.”
Nkubito Bakuramutsa, CEO at www.itiafrica.com, a pan African firm that offers a wide range of IT solutions, commended the development describing it as a valuable resource of the country’s political vision of embracing technology that dates back to 2003.
“TekExpert coming to Rwanda will contribute to the implementation of Rwanda 2050 along with other investments that are still coming,” said Bakuramutsa, who has previously worked with US-based Hewlett Packard before returning to Rwanda where he worked in different government agencies.
Bakuramutsa explained that Africa has a youthful population now more than ever, referring to it as a major potential to become the world skills and innovation basket.
“This investment shows that Rwanda has set to leverage on this demographic advantage. TekExpert will serve companies globally, create jobs and provide the right incentives for our youth to build their skills and get certified.”
He added, “I think the future is very bright. I am confident that in the next five years we will have three to five global technology companies serving the world from Rwanda.”
A relief to the youth in IT
Emmanuel Mukiza, who is among the IT enthusiasts already shortlisted to work with the firm, told The New Times that the development will among others reduce the rate of unemployment rate in the country by training youths, leveraging their skills in addition to providing great services to customers as it has done in its other centres globally.
“This is a relief to most IT graduates really. Most of them suffered on the market because of the little to no opportunities. Since the country is moving fast with technology, majority of students choose to enroll in IT faculties on campus, and this increases the number of graduates who are likely to lack jobs.”
With this opportunity, he said such cases will be reduced since the company seeks to train and hire both experienced and non-experienced tech-enthusiasts.