Rwanda has been ranked by the United Nations’ E-Government Development Index (EDGI) as one of Africa’s top ten performers in global e-Government. Rwanda’s lightspeed digitalisation has been manifested in E-Government initiatives such as Irembo where more than 96 government e-services have been made available to more than 9 million subscribers and thousands of others who utilise Irembo services through agents across the country.
The Electronic Government Procurement Systems, the digitalisation of financial services through mobile money and mobile banking, agriculture (e-Soko) and health (Mobile e-Health) among other areas where the government has rolled and continues to roll out new digital services.
However, these technologies are accompanied by multifaceted and complex legal and ethical issues. Security vulnerabilities threatening privacy, the use of digital technologies for unlawful surveillance, software piracy and general copyright infringement, data breaches, Fintech crimes and fraud are increasingly becoming unavoidable, globally and in Rwanda in particular. The Center for Law and Innovation comes in to research and recommend adaptive and forward-looking legal instruments and policies at various levels that are capable of dealing with such incidents which have affected governments, businesses, and individuals’ fundamental rights and values.
As much as Rwanda’s legal regime is challenged by emerging digital technologies, it is also the most powerful tool for regulating Rwanda’s digital sphere. At the Centre for Law and Innovation we believe that to cope up with the unstoppable and unreachable nature of digital innovation, Rwanda’s regulatory framework should stop playing defence and start playing attack.
To do this we need 2 things: Research and regulation. Research in digital technologies and anticipatory digital innovations and adoption of a proactive rather than reactive regulatory approach. The centre is well positioned to deliver on these two (2) pressing items through our general and specific objectives.