Telecommunication coverage in Rwanda is very low. The communication policy should take advantage of the small size of the country, its high population density and the single local language to attract investors so that the sector can be liberalised.
According to the vision 2020 document adopted by the Rwandan government, “By 2020, Rwanda projects to have internet access at all administrative levels, for all secondary schools and for a large number of primary schools.
Telephone services will be widespread in rural areas and efficiency of public services will have increased through the application of e-government principles.”
In an attempt to know MTN-Rwanda’s journey towards this already set vision, Sunday Times’ Richard Nkubito had an exclusive interview with Norman Munyampundu, the man behind MTN’s customer operations and below are the excerpts:
Qn. Will you briefly introduce yourself to the Sunday Times’ readers?
A: I’m Norman Munyampundu in charge of MTN-Rwanda Customer Operations Department. My title is Senior Manager – Customer Operations.
I’ve worked with MTN-Rwanda since September 1998 and I’m among the pioneers of MTN-Rwanda.
Qn. What’s your take on V 2020?
A: First I don’t want to be left out of vision 2020. To me, vision 2020 is an opportunity for all Rwandans to embrace and support our government in developing our dear nation. Development is based on nothing else but us, the people.
As a customer care officer, for any enterprise, society to develop, they must focus on customer care and if we as Rwandans do improve on our customer care, we shall attract more investors who will come along with inflow of foreign exchange and we shall therefore realize our dreams of vision 2020.
Qn. How does your office translate the vision in its day to day undertakings?
A: Customer care is a major foundation of MTN-Rwanda’s success and yet vision 2020 also emphasizes customer care and quality service delivery. We have provided our esteemed customers with quality services tailored to their customer needs in their different categories and some of these include;
One; per second billing, 2; Closed User Group for organizations and public institutions, 3; Youth package especially for students where we make discounts at later hours of the day.
All this is done to suit different segments of the entire population, our customers.
Qn. One of the key objectives of the vision is for Rwanda to become a medium economy by 2020. What is your office’s role in achieving the noble objective?
Firstly, we contribute in ICT and I must emphasize, MTN-Rwanda is really looking forward to implementing vision 2020. We have data services, black berry services, fibre with a broad band and high frequencies. We also have service centres. Currently it is only one here but we are on other three around town.
Working hours have been improved from 08:00 A.M-05:00 P.M which was our schedule when MTN started in Rwanda and now we operate 24 hours. We also have the village phone which connects to the most remote areas of the country.
I’m also glad to mention that MTN-Rwanda participates in charity works such as helping the needy groups. We have had the recent 21 yellow days for the Genocide survivors.
Qn. Any challenges so far?
A: Challenges are there. Most of our challenges are based on attitude. The current Rwandan society you see comes from different backgrounds and countries and therefore we all have different attitudes on certain things. Serving all those different people is in itself a challenge.
As a person who works with customer care I see a lot, I think it is high time we as Rwandans changed our attitudes, we have a culture of minimizing/cheapening officers at our service - it is not only in MTN.
I think we should develop our culture, a harmonized Rwandan culture which reflects all Rwandans so that we may have a common goal. The other challenges are based on poverty and low levels of education.
We are generally poor and if our customers are poor and largely depend on foreign aid, then we are affected in turn as a business oriented company.
Qn. What is your message to the entire community as regards the vision?
A: Let all Rwandans understand that vision 2020 is our own vision. We all need to get there and MTN- Rwanda is at their service in the journey to vision 2020.
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