Rwanda: Ngirente to Update Parliament on ICT Sector Performance

2 December 2019

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente will, Monday afternoon present government's ICT activities in line with facilitating a knowledge-based economy to a joint session composed by members of both chambers of parliament.

A knowledge-based economy is an economy in which information services are dominant as an area of growth. This type of economy is characterised by knowledge as a source of competitiveness; the increasing importance of science, research, technology, and innovation in knowledge creation, sharing and application.

According to Rwanda's ICT Sector Profile 2018, as of December 2018, the Rwandan population accessed the Internet at the rate of 52 percent and mobile cellular phone subscription reached at 82.1 percent.

The usage of different devices has impacted a lot on the increase of mobile money subscribers from more than 9.9 million in 2017 to slightly over 11 million in 2018.

In 2018, the ICT sector recorded growth of 12 percent compared to the previous year, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) 2018.

Through “irembo” platform – a Government’s e-service portal –Rwandans can access 88 government services, such as national identity card; birth, marriage, and criminal record certificates, online via mobile devices and/or PCs (personal computers).

The central bank's 2018/2019 Annual Report indicated that the volume of mobile financial services transactions increased by 22 percent to Rwf333 million in 2018/2019 from Rwf272 million in the previous financial year.

In the same period, the value of mobile financial services increased by 32 percent from Rwf1,563 billion to Rwf2,058 billion.

Mobile financial services refer to products and services that a financial institution provides to its customers through mobile devices.

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) says that mobile technology has become a platform through which an array of financial transactions can be executed.

These services include withdrawal, transfers, deposit of cash to bank accounts, getting loans, tax payment, utility payment, purchase of goods and services, payment of school fees, among others.

In November 2015, the cabinet approved Smart Rwanda Master Plan (SRMP), a strategic plan towards the knowledge-based economy.

The plan focuses on the digital transformation in seven key sectors which are Governance, Education, Health, Finance, Gender and Youth mainstreaming, Trade and Industry, and Agriculture.

Achieving transformation in these sectors will rely on three key enablers including ICT governance and management, digital talent development, and broadband for all through shared ICT infrastructure.

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