In response to the ever-increasing demand for high-speed internet access, Airtel Rwanda has set a goal to extend its 4G network to cover 95 percent of the nation by the end of 2023. The announcement came during the 'ConnectRwanda2.0' campaign, held on Wednesday, November 8 in Burera District's Butaro Sector, which drew over 3,000 local residents to a football field for the occasion, complete with live entertainment by local artist Eric Senderi. ALSO READ: Airtel Rwanda unveils affordable 4G smartphones In a press interview, Emmanuel Hamez, the Managing Director of Airtel Rwanda, said: Today we're very happy to deliver the second batch of phones that we have promised, we launched this on October 16 and we're now doing the distribution in Burera district. It is very exciting and energising to see that there is a lot of demand, and you can see that there is a big queue behind us.” “To the people of Rwanda, I offer this assurance: there's no need to worry, for we are committed to delivering over 1.2 million smartphones within the upcoming six months,” Hamez said. ALSO READ: Airtel Rwanda launches its own 4G LTE network These smartphones come bundled with enticing data and communication packages, making them accessible to a broad audience. Hamez added, Those who purchase these phones will enjoy 30GB of data, 1GB of 4G internet every day, and unlimited calls and text messages. This offer also extends to other Airtel subscribers who can access the same deal for just Rwf3,000.” “In case of data exhaustion, we have you covered with booster packs readily available. These packs offer 1GB for a mere Rwf200 or 5GB for just Rwf500. We're not merely selling phones; we are also dedicated to providing widespread 4G services for the entire population,” he said. ALSO READ: Airtel Rwanda first to launch e-SIM Richard Kubana, the Director General in charge of Community Mobilisation and Youth Volunteers Coordination in Community Policing at the Ministry of Local Government, elaborated on the campaign's importance. He stated, This 'Connect Rwanda' campaign 2.0 aims to provide more than 1.2 million affordable smartphones to Rwandans. These smartphones will enable Rwandans to access a variety of services online, eliminating the need to travel long distances. Kubana emphasized the collaboration between the government and stakeholders in making these smartphones affordable, as they typically cost over Rwf80,000. “This initiative aligns with the government's goal to achieve 100 percent 4G internet coverage across the nation by the end of the year. This extensive access will empower citizens to perform essential tasks independently, in line with the Byikorere campaign (do it yourself) philosophy,” he said. ALSO READ: Airtel Rwanda, UNICEF, Education Ministry inaugurate digital learning in schools Maurice Mugabowagahunde, Governor of the Northern Province, highlighted the impact these smartphones will have on citizens, especially those residing near the Ugandan border. As citizens near the Ugandan border, they needed many services that required crossing into neighbouring countries. This is going to change now. These smartphones will help them access valuable information, particularly in agriculture. Young people will have access to social media, which we encourage them to use productively. Mugabowagahunde emphasized that these phones have the potential to empower communities, including security personnel, by enabling effective communication. We hope to see them use these devices appropriately and perhaps even generate income from them, he added. ALSO READ: UNICEF, Airtel partner to increase access to digital learning in rural schools Jean Paul Niyonsenga, a resident of Kinyababa sector, reflected the enthusiasm of many citizens. He said: Our local leaders told us Airtel is bringing affordable smartphones, and I had to get one. The world is changing, and I also need something that'll give me access to social media and international news. “Airtel's offer is genuinely impressive. Purchasing a smartphone for Rwf20,000 is highly cost-effective, especially considering the current market rates. In fact, I'm considering getting one for my wife as well to ensure that our entire family can benefit from this opportunity,” Niyonsenga said.