BUGESERA – Rwanda Telecentre Network (RTN), an ICT firm has announced that within the next 5 years, it will put up 1,000 Teleservice centres with the objective of eliminating the digital gap and promoting digital opportunities in rural Rwanda.
According to Paul Barera, the Director of Nyamata Telecenter, this will be possible by implementing a unique business model that the firm is already familiar with, and which was successfully implemented by Nyamata Teleservice Centre since 2004.
He said that the Teleservice project will allow rural folks obtain all information and services at their door step in addition to creating 3,000 additional full time jobs.
“This model is unique in a sense that more emphasis is put on local content and services rather than infrastructure,” Barera said. “The core idea is to enable ICT access points to move from traditional oriented services, to more sophisticated and innovative online services.”
Each Teleservice centre is operated by a village based Entrepreneur (VBE) or community based cooperative and is able to deliver a wide range of public and private services,” he said.
Jane Mutamba a resident of Nyamata town says that the Teleservice centres will not only bridge the digital divide, but also narrow the delivery gap among government, business and social services.
“It is vital that the population supports RTN’s commitment to rural development, by assisting the government in its efforts to promote information and communication technologies for development,” she said.
RTN was established in 2006 as an association of local telecentres operators. It has been a recipient of support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
In 2009, RTN was legally registered as a ‘not for Profit’ company whose focus is to set up Teleservice centres.