ICT:Dissecting the Internet café performance in the suburbs of Rwanda

A daily average earning for a café at a lower performance was realized to be Rwf 25,000 and highest at to Rwf 40,000. A min-survey done by The Business Times has revealed that Internet cafes in Rwanda cannot operate as independent businesses.

A daily average earning for a café at a lower performance was realized to be Rwf 25,000 and highest at to Rwf 40,000.

A min-survey done by The Business Times has revealed that Internet cafes in Rwanda cannot operate as independent businesses.

The survey that involved several Internet cafes, the owners disclosed that without engaging other economic activities within the business, it would not be possible to meet the maintenance costs.

The costs incurred in the business include rent, electricity bills, subscription fee, maintenance of computers and salary for the employees along side saving for the business.

Besides the numerous costs the cafes are faced with, undependable Internet services that have over the time reduced customer confidence and consequently their number.

Performance
Different cafés investigated provide Internet services at a cost of Rwf 400 an hour and they pay a bandwidth provision, subscription fee ranging between Rwf 236,000 to Rwf 300,000 depending on amount being subscribed.

According to Olivier Ntaganda Manager of Cyber Internet café at Kisement, operation of Internet cafés depends on factors like location due to customer availability and proximity to Internet providers.

The urban centers provide customer catchment areas where there is rigorous business activity going on. People are constantly in communication and in search for information. 

So, usually there first stop is at Internet cafes. Some of these are students. But this usually narrows down to those that are computer literate.

A daily average earning for a café at a lower performance was realized to be Rwf 25,000 and highest at to Rwf 40,000.

Diversity
Theo Rabayo Manager of Alfa Internet café in Nyabugogo said that the business is not operated independently.

Alongside the business there are some other income generating activities like scanning, printing, binding, photocopying and designing of business cards and other related documents.

“A client can use Rwf 300 to access internet, but what he finds in his inbox may force him to also make some print-outs costing him more Rwf 2000”, Rabayo said.

These economic activities generate more earnings compared to what is earned from the access of Internet.

For photo printing, black and white costs Rwf100, colored copy costs Rwf 500 and scanning is Rwf300 per copy. Creatively, refreshments and edibles are also sold.

Clientele 
Monstapha Karamage Manager of Cyber Impact at Remera said that each day the business acquires new clients who have different demands but the way you handle them gives you a chance of keeping them coming.

The work needs a lot of attention and calls for an obedient worker who is ready to help customers since computer use is a development which has not taken on for a long time.

Karamage says that some people are just learning how to use computers but are interested in using Internet to send and receive information.

Role in development
Despite the challenges faced in the business, it is playing a roll in development computer literacy by conducting lessons for those that express interest.

Jean Iyakaremye the manager of Cyber Internet cafe in Kigali City said that computer literacy is a major requirement when seeking to be employed in this generation.

He explained that it reduces costs for businessmen because they are able to send information to manufacturers availing them with specifications of their order then receive information in return which could have been more expensive through calling or traveling.

“We have many giant business operators as our customers here and they appreciate our services by the cost of sending and receiving information”, he said.

Ends

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