Rwanda needs at least $30 million (approx Rwf30 billion) to expand cellular and internet networks to 300 sites identified across the country, Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation said. She announced this on Tuesday, February 7, while responding to lawmakers’ ICT-related queries during a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies. ALSO READ: Rwanda tops Africa in internet speed There have been complaints of poor networks from different service providers such as Irembo where it is hard to carry out information updates and some public document applications as well as poor mobile service networks across different areas in the country. ALSO READ: Affordable broadband: A prerequisite for opportunities in the digital era “From an assessment we did last year, we need about 300 network poles installed in different parts of the country but when we go back to our budget, we never exceed at least 80 poles per year. It ranges between 50 and 70 poles depending on our budget,” Ingabire said. She noted that they tried to look for an alternative solution –divert sources of funding from contributions of telecommunication companies –by visiting the national treasury to make the required 300 installments at once. Despite the government’s strides made in boosting connectivity in Rwanda, there are still a number of issues to tackle to achieve the intended target of digital transformation. Experts have, on different occasions, named affordability and accessibility as major issues of concern, but also digital literacy that drives internet usage gap in covered areas remains a barrier in achieving the target. The Internet usage gap is simply put as the number of people who can’t use mobile internet services while living in an area covered by broadband networks. The latest Mobile Connectivity Index by Global Systems Mobile telecommunications Association shows that Rwanda has 61.5 per cent internet infrastructure, 30.3 per cent affordability, and 42.1 consumer readiness. This is while internet connectivity in Rwanda stands at 60.6 percent of the entire population while mobile penetration is at 81.4 percent, according to the latest data available. ALSO READ: Africa lags behind in internet download speed – report In this era, millions of people rely on the internet to connect with their family, and loved ones, do business, access healthcare information and other activities. Improving cellular and internet networks would mean that more people would get connected through telco players in the country to efficiently tap into opportunities at hand in a service-led economy.