28 January 2013

Rwanda: ICT Ministry to Establish Content Market

Government is planning to establish a content market that would assist in providing frequent information for public institutions' websites, the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana has said.

The minister was reacting to claims about institutions that failed to update their websites regularly.

There are several public institutions that have not adhered to the minister's January 2013 deadline of having their websites updated frequently. These include the Judiciary, where some sections were last updated in November, last year.

"There has not been a significant change in the way institutions update their websites since the last time we reminded them. There are a few that have tried but there is still a lot to be done and that is why we are devising a mechanism that would ensure that we realise this," Nsengimana told The New Times last week.

The minister added that part of the mechanism that is being developed is working with K-Lab (knowledge Lab) and other private entrepreneurs in content generation for public institutions. K-Lab is a privately owned open technology hub in Kigali where students, fresh graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators come to work on their ideas or projects to turn them into viable business models. Apart from K-Lab, the minister said that several companies have presented to his office expressions of interest in doing the same job.

"However, in a broader way, we are looking at establishing a creative content market because studies indicate that most Rwandans consume more foreign content than local content. So with a content market, the consumption of local content would go high," he said.

He pointed out that one of the challenges facing access to information lately is a small number of Rwandans using desktop computers to access internet while the biggest number use mobile phones, yet some phones cannot support heavy websites.

"We are also looking into this as a concern to see how we can have websites that support mobile access," the minister said.

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