Rwanda seeks for 100% smartphone coverage in three years
Rwanda aims to provide smartphone access to its entire population within the next three years.
The government of the East African country would have achieved the goal of the Device Financing project under the Connect Rwanda blueprint.
In 2023, the government teamed with telecom companies to launch a gadget financing scheme.
Repayment programmes allow residents to purchase handsets for US$16 and pay $1 per 1GB of data for 30 days, including unlimited SMS.
Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Innovation, revealed at the time of the deal that smartphones accounted for 23 percent.
Speaking to the media at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday, she stated that the most significant barrier for many people was affordability, as residents had to pay the whole worth of the smartphone up front to gain access to the device.
As a result, the device financing programme was intended to address concerns of access, affordability, and digital literacy.
"We are optimistic that in the next three years, at least every citizen will have this level of access that allows them to benefit directly," Ingabire told reporters.
Her ministry and telecom carriers have gradually distributed 4G-capable handsets to citizens.
The exercise began in October in the western Nyamasheke district. The second part took place in Nyanza, in the south.
The goal is for all users in the East African country of 14 million to have access to a 4G-enabled phone.