Rwanda’s commitment to promoting ICT impacting communities

July 4, 2014No Comments

Rwanda’s national ICT plan aims to further leverage the power of ICTs in important areas such as health, education, governance, finance and agriculture says Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.

Rwanda’s strides in ICT can vividly be seen by just taking a tour around the country especially compared to 20 years ago.

These achievements are attributed to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame who is working around the clock to apply technology to Rwandan economic development.

His works towards ICT earned him the World Telecommunication and Information Society Award 2014, where he was recognized for his leadership in the advancement of education and the potential of ICT as a dynamic industry as well as an enabler for Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

Rwanda commits to implementing necessary policies and plans capable of addressing challenges in the information and technology age in order to accelerate the country’s socio- economic development process.

Nsengimana also announced an increase in the number of e-soko SMS and web based users, which has reached 11,815 and 4,640 respectively in 2013.

Currently mobile payments subscribers hit more than 2.5 million, according to figures in the recently-published Rwandan ICT Sector Profile.

The ICT Sector Profile-2013 takes into consideration internationally recognised reports used to measure Information society and e-Government developments, such as  “Measuring the Information Society” measured by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the “UN e-Government Survey” measured by the United Nations (UN).

The report also indicates that the number of mobile phone subscribers increased to 63% up from 55% last year while the total number of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) reached 333.

Rwanda has 10 Internet service providers such as MTN, Airtel, TIGO, Altech Stream, Rwandatel, ISPA among others.

A strategy to provide wi-fi coverage to all schools and public buildings and buses, hospitals, commercial buildings, taxi-parks and restaurants is underway.

Evidently the government signed a $140 million deal with South Korea’s largest Telecom – Korea Telecom (KT) Corp in June, 2013 to provide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) Broadband networks across the country especially in areas where internet connectivity is low.

Next month Internet-related challenges will be reduced and broadband services in the country will benefit every user while using  4G network.

In a move to engage Rwandans in ICT from the grass root, the country launched the “One Laptop Per Child” initiative in schools across the country. So far, the project has seen about 200,000 laptops distributed to more than 400 schools.

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