27 January 2013

Rwanda: The ICT Infrastructure Is There, the Ball Is Now in Your Court


We are approaching the half way point of the third National ICT Plan (NICI 3 ) that is supposed to run from 2011 to 2015 and we risk not beating the tape this time.

This third phase is supposed to focus on service development, but the private sector, which has an important role to play, is dragging its feet and not taking full advantage of the infrastructure.

With over 2,500 kilometres of fibre optic cables snaking all over the country that cost close to $ 100 million, and the completion of the Karisimbi mast, one cannot but say that the plan has been on course. The government has put the backbone in place, it is now up to the private sector to play its part.

One may forgive the layman for thinking that having an email account is the epitome of being ICT savvy, but our real ICT experts have no excuse.

Many have the cyber cable passing right on their door steps but they do not seem to come up with ideas of putting it to good use.

The Kalisimbi project is the jewel among them as it is able to handle a myriad of services; ICT, Telecommunication, WiMAX, air navigation surveillance and radio frequency management systems, but how many of our local entrepreneurs understand its true worth?

The delay in digital migration could partly take the blame as far as broadcasting is concerned, but the government could also help if it sensitized our technical elites of the many opportunities at their fingertips.

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