Kigali is building its way to becoming ‘the Silicon Valley of Africa’ – or at least that’s what the Chinese government hopes.
Kigali, the second largest city in Rwanda, launched a website called uShangri-la, or Silicon City, in May that shows a picture of a computer, and a list of IT companies operating in the country.
The list of companies in Kigali was drawn up by the Kigali City Government’s “Rice University-TIGER” research centre, and includes the likes of Lenovo, HP, Samsung, Huawei, and other major global tech corporations.
In fact, Kigali’s website even has a list of the country’s 10’most promising’ IT entrepreneurs, where it shows the city’s top five being all Chinese.
In addition to the list of Chinese tech companies, the website is also home to the world’s top Internet service providers. It lists China’s Tencent as among the top internet service providers, while also promoting Baidu as the second highest.
Tencent is also listed as the’most valuable’ in the country, at $45 billion, while Baidu is the’second most valuable’ at $44.9 billion.
The website also makes an effort to showcase Kigali’s ‘high tech’ and’smart city’ credentials. It lists Kigali’s main government buildings, along with several other universities and research centres, as examples of tech-related buildings that are ‘innovative and futuristic’.
Of course, the city’s website tries to keep up appearances too. The website boasts that Kigali is the ‘Silicon Valley of Africa’, and that its ‘business and innovation potential’, and its ‘innovation industry cluster’ are the key to its future.
It’s no secret that Rwanda is working hard to attract big-name investors when it comes to tech development. The country’s capital, Kigali, has been chosen to host the next tech conference hosted by local tech guru Y Combinator. Y combinatorer, or Ycombinator, is a Silicon Valley startup accelerator and has been attracting a lot of attention since it was established in 2012.
In an interview with Global Times, Ycombinator cofounder Paul Graham was full of praise for