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The “Browning” of African Technology

Forget MIT. Hello, Tsing Hua University. For Clothilde Tingiri, a hot young programmer at Rwanda’s top software company, dreams of Beijing, not Cambridge, animate her ambitions. Desperate for more education, this fall she plans to attend graduate school for computer science – in China, not America.

The Chinese are no strangers to Rwanda. Near Tingiri’s office, Rwanda’s largest telecom company, Rwandatel, is installing new wireless telephony equipment made by Huawei of Shenzen. Africa boasts the world’s fastest-growing market for wireless telephony, and Huawei – with offices in 14 African countries – is running away with the business, sending scores of engineers into the bush to bring a new generation of low-cost technology to some of the planet’s poorest people.