The arm of Rwanda Development Board in charge of the national ICT implementation agenda, RDB-IT, has handed over IT equipment worth Rwf 129m to 12 districts as part of the programme embarking on deployment and exploitation of ICTs in the rural areas.
Local government minister, Protais Musoni received the180 desktop computers, 180 Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units, 12 network printers and 12 digital cameras at his offices in Kacyiru on Monday.
The 12 districts to benefit from this programme include Kirehe, Bugesera and Gatsibo in the Eastern province, Burera and Rulindo in the Northern Province, Ngororero, Rustiro, Nyamasheke and Karongi in the Western province and Gisagara, Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe in the Southern province.
Each district was given 15 desktop computers, 15 UPS units, a network printer and a digital camera.
RDB-IT through its World Bank funded project, eRwanda, has identified the approach of deploying ICTs in rural areas as a fundamental strategy in bridging the digital divide as well as recording a comprehensive national political and socio-economic development.
“We are very keen on enabling the establishment of modern technology-led operations and activities within the public sector specifically the local government structures,” said Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the RDB Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
“This initiative is aimed at enhancing government’s performance to enable more efficient and effective government service delivery to citizens and private sector.” added Bakuramutsa.
The eRwanda project coordinator, Mr. Wilson Muyenzi, said that the project has already made efforts tailored to enhancing rural development through the use of ICTs, adding that the project has developed websites for districts and provinces and trained their public relations and ICT officers to enable them exploit and maintain the websites.
“We have also established an urgent need to improve computer literacy among district officials, and put in place a plan to impart IT skills to people living in rural areas,” says the eRwanda coordinator, adding that 200 district officials from 14 districts will undergo IT training in the month of July this year.
Expressing his gratitude towards RDB-IT, Musoni said the rollout of ICTs to the countryside especially rural areas would greatly support the government strategy to promote ICT based policies since 94 percent of the people live in rural areas.
“We are aware that capacity building and web development initiatives alone will not suffice to improve the service delivery system at the local governments. We therefore recognize the importance of equipping districts with modern IT equipment to match the improved personnel and methods for efficient and effective service delivery,” concluded the local government minister.
Meanwhile, following the handover of the IT equipment officials travelled to Nyamagabe District in Southern Province to award certificates in ICT basics to rural residents from 13 districts.