Every hour, about 120 Rwandans subscribe to internet, according to the country’s ICT sector survey of 2014, which is yet to be made public.
Between 2013 and 2014, about 1,043,813 Rwandans subscribed to internet, meaning on average, 120 Rwandans subscribed per hour.
The survey, of which KT Press has obtained a copy, was conducted by the Ministry of ICT and found out that the number of Rwandans with a Sim for data and voice services grew to 3,111,992 in 2014 grew from 2,068,179 in 2013.
The increase, the report says, is due to stiff competition between local telecom operators (Tigo,MTN,Airtel).
Rwanda intends to increase internet usage to 95% by 2017. ICT accounts for 4% ($301 million) of Rwanda’s GDP ($7.5 billion).
The alliance for affordable internet (A4AI) ranks Rwanda among the top three African countries including; Nigeria and Morocco.
Rwandans pay $6 for one gigabyte (1GB) of internet. This has pushed internet penetration to 26% and as a result, 35.6% of Rwandans are hooked to internet through various devices.
Mobile subscribers increased by 6.5%, representing a jump from 6,689,158 in 2013 to 7,747,019 subscribers by December 2014.
Active subscribers are at 70% compared to 63.5% in 2013. In 2014 about 6.5 million Mobile Money subscribers made transactions worth Rwf 691.5 billion compared to Rwf 330.4 billion in 2013.
Now government allows businesses to clear taxes via mobile money. Last year, the country launched the 4G LTE, pushing over five times of data capacity of up to 100Mbps of speed.
ICT Minister, Jean Philbert Nsengimana told KT Press, “deployment of high-speed internet will accelerate Rwanda’s economic growth; facilitating business, creating jobs and social progress”.
Landlocked Rwanda with 11 million people, mostly subsistence farmers, plans to transform into a knowledge-based economy and regional ICT hub.
The country has laid 3,000km of fibre optic network worth $130 million, connecting 97 government agencies in the capital Kigali and 226 agencies in districts. It links 36 main nodes in both Kigali and all the 30 districts.
To establish 21st century learning skills, over 250,000 laptops have been distributed in 407 primary schools enabling 2.5 million children to access computers, making it the 3rd largest deployment in the world after Peru and Uruguay-under the ‘One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project.