Case Report: Fintech and paratransit in Kigali, Rwanda: uniformity, gaps and speculative pilots

This case report by Alexis Sebarenzi, as part of the Platform Politics and Silicon Savannahs project, explores fintech and paratransit in Kigali, Rwanda.

A visitor to Kigali might be struck by the ubiquity of motorcycles in the city and their near uniformity in the red vests worn by the motaris, the mode of payment, and the amounts paid. The backend of this uniformity consists of a wide range of features resulting from the interface between the fintech and motorcycle sectors. These aspects consist of the existing dominance of some players, gaps in tackling motaris’ fundamental concerns, and speculative practices.

This case report unpacks these three aspects of the fintech and motorcycle interaction in Kigali: first, by showing that the uniformity is, at least in part, due to the dominance of particular players; second, by demonstrating that gaps between the sectors indicate absent features that are fundamental to the motorcycle sector; and third, contrasts these features with speculative and experimental practices.