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The Ministry for Youth and ICT, Rwanda and GSM Association has announced an agreement to take on a series of initiatives to speedup ICT inclusion and economic growth, with mobile broadband technologies as the key foundation.

This development took place today, in the lead-up to the GSMA’s annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a key gathering for African stakeholders with over 46 African governments attending last year.

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, noted: “A country’s broadband connectivity has become a key competitive differentiator in the global economy. We have made significant progress already for the widespread adoption of ICT, particularly in sectors such as health, government, education, agriculture, business and finance.”

Through this partnership, the GSMA and the Government of Rwanda will undertake a range of initiatives including creating educational and training programmes on mobile regulation to foster socio-economic development, expand financial inclusion through mobile money services and ensure sound spectrum management.

“The GSMA is very pleased to be working with the Government of Rwanda to support mobile broadband as a key enabler for digital inclusion and economic growth. While there were 7.6 million mobile connections and 4.2 million unique mobile subscribers in Rwanda at the end of 2014, just nine per cent of the population were unique 3G/4G mobile Internet users. We expect this number to almost triple to 24 per cent by 20201,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “The collaboration announced today will support Rwanda’s ambitious digitisation agenda, which ranges from pushing a cashless economy and a paperless government to extending broadband to all citizens and enabling digital literacy and innovation.”

Bolade Popoola | Author

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