Rwanda’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) industry is growing with the composite network coverage now estimated to be at 90 percent according to official documents. This means that almost the whole country is now covered with ICT.
Documents that track the progress of ICT industry under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) also indicate that the number of mobile phone users has now hit 1,322,637.
EDPRS is a five year strategy that was set by the government and through its implementation, seeks to reduce the soaring levels of poverty in the country.
This strategy sets out the country’s objectives, priorities and major policies for the next five years from 2008-2012.
According to the document ICT being the key element of fuelling growth prospects, science and technology contribute to the EDPRS goal of promoting various forms of innovations within different sectors this was emphasised by the same report.
Statistics indicate that poverty is widespread in the country with a substantial portion of the population living below the poverty line. Approximately 80 percent of Rwandan working population is actively employed in agriculture with a small portion in industrial and service sectors.
“In an effort to get the mobile service network penetrate the country, the first and only mobile phone assembly in Rwanda was set up and became operational in June 2008.The assembly has a capacity to produce 20,000 units per month.
The locally assembled phones have a local language Kinyarwanda interface,” the report says.
“Tigo, the third national telecommunication operator has been licensed and its entry is expected to level the telecoms playing field.
The intention is to offer better value for money services. Within this industry 13 licenses of various typologies were issued including a pay TV operator,” it adds.
According to the report, in order to make a break through the sector needs to be regulated and a team has been assigned to draft the laws that will support its development.