Real Time Communications Featured Article

Rwanda In Midst of Tech Boom

August 10, 2015

Ever since its inception, the Internet has been touted as a way to spread information and connect all four corners of the world. But as most of the Western world, as well as Russia and China became thoroughly immersed in technology, other areas like Africa have been dramatically underserved.

In recent times, however, that has begun to change. Corporations all around the world are beginning to see Sub-Saharan Africa as the last unsaturated technology market in the world, and have begun to put together plans to bring mobile communications, internet services, and even cashless commerce to Africa.

A lot of this new development is focused on the nation of Rwanda. As early as 2011, Visa looked at Rwanda as a test market for cashless commerce; the findings from that venture will help guide further development in the region. The use of mobile phones is also growing in the region: a study predicts that by 2020, about half the population of Sub-Saharan Africa will own and use a mobile phone. GENBAND is already looking to bring Real Time Communications to Africa with its voice and video chat software, Kandy.

The government of Rwanda has been incredibly receptive to this technological expansion within its borders. They worked closely with Visa to foster their cashless commerce program, and are looking to do more of the same, says Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board.

via Shutterstock

“The government of Rwanda has been deliberately facilitating the implementation of mobile communications technologies by putting the right policies in place and a conducive environment for competition since the liberalization of the mobile market in 1998,” by “encouraging Public and Private Partnership to implement a single nationwide broadband network that is shared by all service providers on a wholesale basis.”

The Rwandan government clearly recognized the benefits of technology in their nation, and has worked hard to promote its growth.

One of the questions about this technology boom with Rwanda is the question of infrastructure: Can it handle a boom of this magnitude? According to Karitanyi, the answer is a resounding , Yes: “The current infrastructure has indeed been designed to support UC systems and other state of the art technological advancements.”

So what is next for Rwanda? Karitanyi outlines ambitious plans for the coming years, with increased “services and applications” in the “agriculture, health, education, and financial sectors.” Rwanda hopes to use their developments in technology to improve their business presence, resulting in improved economic growth for the African nation.  

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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