Technology, Rwanda and The Future in Brief
As I read the news, early last week, I learn that the University of Rwanda (UR) has launched an online master’s programme. That’s a good thing, if you ask me. When I met the former Vice-chancellor of the University, Prof. James McWha, in early twenty-fourteen, he told me of the plans they had for e-learning: offering both undergraduate and graduate programmes to tens of thousands using technology by twenty-twenty. It was, to me, a fascinating, ambitious idea.
On the day before the last day of March this year, on the thirtieth, spoken word artist Eric Ngangare (or Eric One-key) invited Kigalians to his first show—of a series he calls the Expericment (which I’ll write about later)—where he performed music collected in his first album Entre2 (meaning ‘between two’), a perfect mix of beautiful, and sometimes thought-provoking, tales and what we have ultimately seen in him at least in the last two years.
When Eric was ready to make public the first piece of his set during the last months of twenty-fourteen, he did not go to local radios, like many artists in Kigali do. He had thought of his Soundcloud channel and he decided to use it. And he only needed, mainly, his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to promote it. Just that.
A few days ago, a friend made an ironical joke over the growing number of local TV shows and how young people are invading the arena. It might sound funny, but experts—as I have noticed—continue to believe almost everyone will own a vlog in the next few years. We are sure that the future is visual. We know video viewing is exploding around the globe (perhaps audio too will rise significantly, but not as much), and much of its growth is being driven by mobile devices. Young people who are exploring the new TV industry are as passionate. They want to create and share content in an easy, instant way. They want to drive and be the face of change.
Creativity has no boundaries. Technology is enabling children, youth and adults in Rwanda to create, innovate, embrace new methods; every day. Most important, it is challenging everyone to adapt with a fast-changing world. The future is, in many ways, happening. We just, in many cases, are deciding to not notice, or to wait and hesitate.
It took many years and a lot of efforts to build the traditional. But it’s almost too old now. Where the future is, we must go there.
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