In recent years, Kigali has made great strides in digital public service delivery. Meanwhile, the growing household income and urbanization highlight the need for an inclusive and sustainable digital transformation. Make-IT in Africa and the Rwandan Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) partnered with the German NGO Endeva to explore the role of digitalization in addressing some contemporary issues.
The initiative “Inclusive Innovation 2030” (ii2030) catalyses systemic change for the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is done through a unique methodology that combines design thinking and systems practice methods. ii2030 is a stakeholder-driven process that aims for the co-creation of root-cause solution.
The ii2030 Rwanda Smart City Edition is an elven-month-long process that commenced in November 2021. It is made up of four phases. The first phase, inceptions, utilized desk research and interviews to systematically identify and prioritize potential focus areas i.e. tracks. The three tracks of the current edition are Road Safety, Solid Waste Management and Clean Air.
The Road Safety track is set to explore innovative ways to make the streets safer. The Solid Waste Management track aims to support the transition from a linear waste management system to one where waste is a resource. The Clean Air track aims to reduce traffic-related air pollution.
The second stage in the ii2030 journey is the consultation phase. The ii2030 Rwanda Smart City Edition engaged more than 60 stakeholders in two virtual consultation workshops across three tracks. The first round of expert consultations explored enablers and inhibitors in the respective tracks. Consequently, the second round identified leverage points to positively disrupt the system. The conclusion of the second phase ensured clarity on how the system works and the room for digital intervention.
Road safety management in Kigali is characterized by minimal reliance on data. This stems from the limitations across data collection, organization and dissemination. Big data can help in accident hotspot identification, targeted awareness creation and post-crash care coordination. The online-consultation identified a multi-stakeholder integrated data platform as a potential solution to that challenge. It has the potential to foster the collaboration of actors and the integration of data in decision making.
Kigali’s solid waste management system is benefiting from emerging technologies such as smart bins. However, the sector largely remains linear where waste collected from households is disposed of at Nduba landfill. This is due to a multitude of factors including minimum at source separation, the limited incentive for material recovery and inadequate infrastructure for circularity. The consultations saw a big potential in digital technologies to support the awareness raising among citizens. This could expedite the transition to sustainable waste management.
The mitigation and adaptation measures stipulated under the National Determined Contribution (NDC) presuppose substantial investment. In the transport sector, the cost of renewing the existing vehicle stock, placing fueling infrastructure and congestion reduction interventions is enormous. A business case portal that analyses the economic returns of low carbon urban transportation can offer decision-makers tools for innovative finance.
The third stage of the ii2030 is co-creation, set to be held in the last week of May. The two-day long session will be held at the Digital Transformation Centre in Kigali. Three parallel sessions will rally a curated group of stakeholders to build a solution prototype based on the above-stated consultation outputs.
In a fourth phase, Endeva will support the development of the concept notes and business plans to ensure the implementation of the co-created solutions.
The ii2030 Rwanda Smart City Edition is set to disrupt the fundamental ways a system works. A single solution prototype per track will be delivered by the end of the co-creation. Prototypes from earlier ii2030 editions have been developed and tested. Learn more on: https://www.ii2030.com