Launching Kigali’s Smart Mobility Lab

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Kigali, Rwanda - Smart Mobility Lab

And then came the day for which we had been working and waiting for so long. Especially, of course, my colleague Denis Paz Jimenez who had worked together with his counterparts at GIZ during the last one-and-a-half years on this project.

We were very excited and we arrived early to the event that took place at Norrsken, which hosts the biggest technology co-working space throughout Africa.

Denis Paz Jimenez
Trufi’s Denis Paz Jimenez leading a session at the Smart Mobility Lab launch

As a host, you are always a bit nervous wondering if all guests will come, because many important things are always happening at the same time. But the participants did make it: all the important stakeholders for a successful mobility lab: the City of Kigali, the public transport authority RURA, the German Embassy, and of course all partners that had build up the Mobility Lab:

Mobility Lab Partners (Along with Trufi)

In a nutshell, the Smart Mobility Lab aims to foster innovation in mobility in Rwanda. It is a space for cooperation between partners from the private sector, academia, and public institutions.

There are two focus areas: public transportation and e-mobility. The partners Kabisa and Volkswagen are for example both leading companies here in Rwanda that sell, lease and rideshare electric vehicles. Enrouteq and Trufi work on making public transport more attractive and efficient by digitalizing it.

Enrouteq brings in edge technology and has already GPS-tagged more than 60 buses from Kigali Bus Services (KBS). They have collected bus route data along with other initiatives like from JICA, GIZ and the OpenStreetMap community.

We from Trufi launched a pilot of our mobility app that shows the locations of buses in realtime to the user. In the upcoming project, Enrouteq will further rollout the GPS-tagging of buses and update the bus lines network (together with partners).

Ultimately we will launch a mobility app for Kigali that gives real-time accurate information about the best travel choice. During this process, we will also discuss with the many stakeholder and with our financier GIZ the main additional features for our app.

The Launch Event

Back to the event: It started with the introduction from the embassy, hosted a panel discussion and served very good food.

One speech particularly impressed me. It came from Janvier Twagirimana, “Green and Inclusive Mobility Coordinator” from the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA).

 Janvier Twagirimana
Janvier Twagirimana, “Green and Inclusive Mobility Coordinator” from Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure

Everything he said was basically in line what our mission at Trufi is: We need to push it in order to combat climate change; that public transport must serve the many people that depend on it and use it every day; that we shall not forget the ones without a smartphone (hence we talk here a lot about USSD and printed transport maps as well); that many people also live outside Kigali and commute into the city.

Group Photo
Group Photo from the Smart Mobility Lab Launch

From me, representing Trufi, it was wonderful to see that our technology platform, our industry skills, plus our partner network can really help to solve demanding questions.

So, Smart Mobility Lab had been kicked-off. Let’s make it now be fruitful!

1 thought on “Launching Kigali’s Smart Mobility Lab

  1. Pingback: Beta Testing Our Kigali App - Trufi Association

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