You’ve heard the buzzwords; Big Data, Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Cryptocurrencies, Financial Technology (Fintech), Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Non-fungible Tokens (NFT) ) and, of course, the metaverse.
Most of the aforementioned technologies are the future of the developing world but the present of the developed world. To give it more perspective, the future is already here but it is unevenly distributed.
Rwanda has a policy environment conducive to investment and innovation that allows entrepreneurs to test their new products, business models and test the waters before establishing themselves as taxable businesses.
The combination of a progressive regulatory environment, start-up incubation centers and tax incentives encourages and facilitates the adventure of entrepreneurs in new businesses.
Regulations have been aligned with the changing nature of technology to enable sustainable innovations.
However, new technologies have generated less value, which means that Rwandan entrepreneurs and academics as well as other stakeholders need to invest more resources to derive more value from national development.
Data from Statista indicates that Rwanda’s unemployment rate rose to 1.35% in 2020, from 0.99% in 2019.
While the rising unemployment figures are not alarming, they may continue to rise as the population grows and life expectancy increases thanks to improved health care and living standards. .
However, new and emerging technologies offer an alternative to the country to offset possible increases in unemployment and stimulate the economy.
This is how.
Establishment of a software engineer program for export
With the growing demand for software engineers in Africa and the rest of the world, Rwanda can establish a program to research, train and produce a minimum of 500 software engineers per year.
An Andela-style program where recruits have facilities, a supportive environment and receive hands-on training by exposing them to challenging world-class projects for at least a year can help create a talent pool that will attract hunters. talent both locally and internationally.
It can also create backward and forward links in the ecosystem as engineers start new businesses, train more talent for their companies, hire more, and help more others find jobs at local companies. and foreign.
If at least 50 percent of the 500 earn a monthly income of $ 1,000, that means $ 3 million will be generated in the economy each year. It is a direct increase in purchasing power that stimulates an increase in production to meet the proportional increase in demand.
Invest in virtual tourism
Virtual and augmented reality technology can be harnessed to enhance the experiences of tourists by immersing them in places and activities within the country without requiring their physical presence in these areas and involvement in the activities.
Augmented reality is an enhancement of the real world and its deployment in tourism gives people better experiences as it captures a large sphere of the place under observation.
As virtual reality is an enhancement of a fictitious / imagined reality, it can be coupled with augmented reality to create tourist landscapes based on landscapes that actually exist in the country, thus providing viewers with better experiences and greater satisfaction.
Imagine sitting around a table with your friends and watching elephants, lions, zebras, hippos, cheetahs, leopards walking around you. Scary? Exciting? This is what the Metaverse is capable of. The Metaverse can give you that experience and you can, I guess, happily pay just to have it. I would like too.
And, with the right distribution, RDB can extend its reach and make more money just by relying on technology.
Sale of animals Non-fungible tokens
Physical currencies and cryptocurrencies are fungible, mutually interchangeable, which means they can be exchanged for each other in equal amounts.
Non-fungible tokens in layman’s terms are certificates of ownership of the digital or physical assets they represent. If, for example, RDB offers for sale a digital-only work of art representing Igitego (the gorilla named by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) and I pay him $ 20,000, I will not receive a sculpture of Igitego, I will only receive a unique digital token, which is the NFT.
Let me limit the technical jargon here.
Now if RDB can produce NFTs for some of the prominent wild animals such as mountain gorillas, and auction them off on NFT platforms like OpenSea, marketing NFTs to create awareness and buzz (that’s how it works obviously), there is a chance to generate good sums of money. This could increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings and add to the country’s reserves.
The essence of technology is to create value and those who are positioning themselves quickly are reaping huge benefits from these new technologies.
Rwanda can stay ahead, as it has done in other sectors and industries, by leveraging new and emerging technologies to reap the rewards of 21st century technological developments.