ICT Regulation: Efficiency in transforming Rwanda's economy

Aline Uwitonze, an entrepreneur from Gatsibo District, says she no longer has to travel long distances, to access Banks or carry out financial transactions.

“All I do is use my mobile phone, to send and receive money, read the news and most importantly, make calls to my customers from anywhere at affordable rates,” she says.

Uwitonze’s story has been possible thanks to relentless efforts of the Government and President Kagame’s visionary leadership to place ICT at the center of Rwanda’s economic transformation.

Indeed, “the internet is a needed public utility as much as water and electricity,” President Kagame pointed out at the Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali, last year.

Rwanda’s leadership is well aware that ICT is the vehicle that will deliver the prosperous future all Rwandans are working towards.

Dr Hamadoun Toure, the Executive secretary of the Smart Africa Alliance, refers to Kagame as the Digital president who is transforming Rwanda into a service-based economy. Everything is going digital and this has improved the quality of service Rwandans seek and receive.

The government considers ICT central to driving Rwanda towards a knowledge-based economy. In fact, Rwanda’s budget allocation to ICT - as a percentage of its GDP - is at par with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Rwanda growth in ICT continues to be one of the fastest in the continent. This has created several opportunities for businesses and the horizon looks even more promising. E-commerce, e-services, mobile services and applications development are some of the ICT focus areas that have sprung up of late. These are creating wealth and jobs for the young people especially.

During a two-day visit in Kigali, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Houlin Zhao, pointed out that Rwanda’s choice to prioritize ICT is one of the major reasons the country has registered remarkable progress.

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