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ICT Minister Tells The World Internet Is Changing Lives In Rwanda


ICT Minister Tells The World Internet Is Changing Lives In Rwanda

The Minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation, Paula Ingabire has highlighted how technology has had a profound effect on the economy and welfare of the population.

She made the statement in Dubai at the ongoing summit of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ending on November 16, 2018.

In an interview with Maximillian Jacobson Gonzalez, ITU senior communications officer, Ingabire said that Rwanda has not stopped working on the development of technology.

She said that Rwanda has realized that technology should not to be treated as a separate sector but it is a tool that eases development and other areas of life.

“I am glad we have surpassed the idea that technology should be separate from other sectors, but it is now considered a tool to facilitate many economic institutions, it is like a mediator,” she said.

She provided a variety of examples such as in health where drones are used to deliver blood to remote hospitals.

She said that this approach has helped the country to save many lives because blood is delivered on time.

Rwanda has gone far about using technology in education

The One Laptop Per Child Project which started in June 2008 aimed at providing one computer for every child had, until February 2018, provided about 270,000 computers in 1523 primary schools.

Minister Ingabire said that the project has enabled children to develop a sense of curiosity to invent based on the knowledge they receive.

She said that the Rwanda is now focusing on the development of new talents, by assisting them to boost their knowledge and skills.

“We have a great deal of interest in nurturing talented people, by expanding our research in skills and innovation […]Raising talent people is in line with different programs where Rwanda is aiming to be on top in innovation and the required skills, ” she said.

She provided an example of the institutions such as AIMS, Carnegie Melon University, and Andela, among others that have invested in the country.

She also talked about government services that are being offered via IREMBO website, indicating that it has enabled the population to access service easily.

However, Minister Ingabire said that the promotion of ICT development requires access to equipment and knowledge.

She said that the government is working with stakeholders to spread internet across the country by reducing the cost of equipment to enable the population to consume it.

“We are telling stakeholders, if possible, to reduce the cost of these materials, so that people can have them in their hands. Another thing is to counteract technology illiteracy. It’s good to get services and accessories but the knowledge to use the tools is another thing,” she said.

Meanwhile, statistics from Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) indicate that until June 2018, about 46.4% of Rwandans are internet users, while 4G Internet network has been expanded across the country at 96.4%.

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