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Rwanda's ICT Highlights in 2014

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Kigali: During the year 2014, the ICT sector in Rwanda continued to grow to boost the country’s social-economic development. Below are some of the highlights for the ICT sector in 2014.

ITU Awards President Kagame

President Paul Kagame has received the 2014 World Telecommunication Information Society. The Award is presented by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to individuals who have made exceptional contribution to improving lives of world citizens through ICTs.

President Kagame said Rwanda’s ICT strategy is based on integrating key sectors in a system that combines connectivity, enabling policy and regulatory framework, as well as skills development and networks.

StarTimes Group recognized President Kagame with the first ever “Number One in ICT and Communication Award”

On Thursday 15th May 2014, StarTimes Group awards President Paul Kagame for his visionary leadership and commitment towards meeting the set objectives of Vision 2020 in promoting ICT and communications. The Minister of Youth and ICT received the award on behalf of the President.

StarTimes is a worldwide technology company that was established in 1988 in China. The company that started developing its African markets in 2002, was issued the first digital TV operator license by Rwanda in 2007. Currently StarTimes is operational in 23 African nations.

Rwanda re-elected member of ITU Council

Rwanda has been re-elected a member state of the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 2014-2018. Rwanda earned 110 votes at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, South Korea.

The Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana stressed that “This is an opportunity to keep contributing to shaping the global ICT for Development agenda.” He commends all ITU member states for renewed confidence to serve on ITU council.

Rwanda continues to be one of the fastest growing African countries in ICT... from e-commerce and e-services, mobile technologies, applications development and automation to becoming a regional centre for the training of top quality ICT professionals and research.

Northern Corridor countries agree to adopt “One-Network-Area”

This year, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan adopted a regional telecommunications framework for a “One-Network-Area” to be implemented by 2015. The framework scraps roaming charges and reducing the cost of calls by 60%. Rwanda and Kenya have both implement the plan with Uganda and South Sudan to follow shortly.

The One-Network-Area is being implemented as a result of resolutions made during the 5th Heads of State Summit for the Northern Corridor Integration Projects held in Nairobi, Kenya in May 2014.

The regional framework for the One-Network-Area applies to telephone calls originating and terminating within the region and mandates members to adopt the following: Exemption of regional calls from surcharges applied by member states on international incoming calls. No additional charges to subscribers on account of roaming within the region. And no charges for receiving calls while roaming within the region.

Rwanda launches faster Internet broadband network

Rwanda joined a few other countries to enjoy Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) Internet services after it was launched in Kigali on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Speaking at the launch of this service, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said that the rollout of 4G LTE will speed up national development goals by speeding up ICT based services as well as creating jobs and proving new opportunities to deliver better services across the country.

This launch enables people to accomplish their dreams and new ideas will blossom. The launch of 4G LTE is one of many activities that our Government is putting in place so as to achieve a middle class knowledge based economy targets by 2020,” Minister Nsengimana stressed.

MYICT launches the awareness campaign of 4G LTE for Rwandans

The Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) has launched yesterday the awareness of 4G LTE for citizens of Kigali City at the football ground of IPRC in Kicukiro District.

With SMART Kigali initiative the event has been organized during the ongoing Koranubuhanga campaign is organized in collaboration with MINALOC and brings together all public institutions offering online services, TV broadcasters, TV suppliers, Telecom operators, Banks, Phone suppliers, and other companies offering ICT as well as ICT-enabled services.

Implementation of Rwanda Online Platform officially takes off

On August 19th, 2014; the Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Online Platform Limited kicked off the beginning of the first phase of implementation of the Rwanda Online platform set to establish an integrated public service platform that will exclusively offer Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Citizen (G2C) services in the country, accessible via internet and mobile devices.

The agreement between the Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Online Platform Limited, signed in April of this year, granted the concession to Rwanda Online Platform to Build and Operate the Platform for twenty-five (25) years, after which it will be transferred back to the Government of Rwanda.

President Kagame addressed participants at the Smart Rwanda Conference

President Kagame has said that digital innovation has leveled the playing field, making it easy for anyone from anywhere can compete in the global economy. Speaking at an interactive session during the conclusion of the Smart Rwanda conference. President Kagame said digital innovation means ideas do not have borders and therefore countries cannot be landlocked.

Rwanda collaborates with Facebook to boost social education

Facebook introduced SocialEDU, a pilot initiative that will provide students in Rwanda with free access to a collaborative online education experience. With SocialEDU, students in Rwanda will receive free data plans for accessing free edX MOOCs from some of the world’s leading universities.

“Internet.org is about working together to remove barriers to access and give billions of people the power to connect to the knowledge economy,” said Javier Olivan, Vice President of Growth and Analytics at Facebook. “SocialEDU represents this kind of collaboration at its best.”

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said, “The Government of Rwanda is excited to partner with Facebook to open up a world full of content and interaction to Rwandan students. The social education experience will accelerate innovation and propel Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy.” (End)

 

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