The Bloomberg Philanthropies and Imbuto Foundation, charity for Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeanette Kagame, have launched a mobile application for Rwandans to access free books.
The Library For All app for all android devices will enable Rwandans access over 500 books from 200 authors and improve Rwanda’s library services and literacy through technology.
“Rwanda is a developing country, therefore grooming the youths to read is a necessity,” said Diyana Gitera, Deputy Director at Imbuto Foundation.
“The most effective way to achieve the reading, innovative generation that we need is through using the available technology to provide reading materials to different users countrywide,” she added.
Bloomberg Philanthropist’s researcher, Verna Eggleston, said the American charity is playing a role in helping Rwandan youths discover different opportunities surrounding them, through using the App.
“If you know it, you can live it. Reading is the only natural effortless way to bring people to different steps in life, and we are glad to help Rwanda in this,” said Ms. Eggleston.
The app will become a platform for Rwandan publishers to showcase their work and motivate writers.
“The publishing and writing sectors still lag behind, but this came just in time to fuel the cause,” said Steven Mugisha, the Representative of Rwandan Publishers.
The Ministry of Education will manage the selection of books for the free app. The ministry said they were seeking ways to improve access to ICT devices in remote schools so that the online library can benefit all.
“We have a deal with a computer assembling plant to provide at least 150,000 laptops annually, which we will distribute in different schools,” said Olivier Rwamukwaya, State Minister for Education.
“We have also worked with telecommunication companies to provide affordable ICT devices and different packages to give equal advantage to different users,” he said.
Young writers are also positive the new innovation is a platform to share their works. “I intend to take my poetry to greater heights…with this app, I expect a lot,” said Angel Uwamahoro, a teenage writer.
Rwanda has invested heavily in ICT promotion and broadband, with 4G connectivity.
“With such innovations, Rwanda is getting a run for their ICT investment,” said Didier Nkurikiyimfura, Director General in charge of ICT at The Ministry of Youth and ICT.