Senate approves $24m ICT project

A Senate Extra-ordinary Session Thursday approved the Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme Rwanda project (RCIPRW) worth $24million.
Albert Butare.
Albert Butare.

A Senate Extra-ordinary Session Thursday approved the Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme Rwanda project (RCIPRW) worth $24million.

The project to be funded by the World Bank through the International Development Association (IDA), the concessional lending arm of the World Bank, is designed to improve the regional communications infrastructure and boost the e-government in the region.

This follows the financial agreement signed in Kigali in October last year, by the Government of Rwanda and IDA to support the Regional Communications Infrastructure program (phase 2) Rwanda project.

Presenting and defending the project before the Senate, the State minister for Energy and Communication Eng. Albert Butare said that the money will be used to extend telecommunication lines up to the district level.

The money will help government-based organization to access communication networks, get bandwidth and facilitate in the management of the project. Among the institutions to benefit from the project are hospitals, schools and the Private Sector. 
The program also complements the submarine fibre optic cable projects being developed along the East coast of Africa which will link the region into the global communications network.

Engineer Butare also briefed the Senate on the current progress of the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), which he said is still on the right track despite major setbacks it has encountered.

He said that stakeholders are working out modalities to see how the EASSy can partner with Telecommunication companies in the five East Africa Partner States through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

Through these partnerships, the companies will link their underground fibre optic cables to the East African Coast where potential deals could be reached to connect with SEACOM, TEAMS and other undersea optical fibres to provide cheaper bandwidth channels to the region.

The RCIPRW project is one of the several projects funded by the World Bank to help Rwanda achieve Vision 2020 goals.

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