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18 more Telecentres to Boost Rural Access in Rwanda

Kigali, Aug 25, 2009 (The New Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Rwanda Development Board's Information Technology has a directorate whose focus is enabling rural communities access basic ICT services for the purposes of boosting their levels of competitiveness.

As part of this empowerment drive, RDB-IT has been installing rural telecentres throughout the country.

It recently added 18 more telecentres under its community and rural access outreach programmes. The New Times' Fred Oluoch-Ojiwah spoke to Alphonse Zigira, the Director Rural and Community Access at RDB-IT on the new developments.

What are the costs implications to RDB-IT for putting up these 18 more centers? RDB-IT finances all the activities involved from construction to equipping of the structures. We, at initial stage take care of the operational costs of these multipurpose community telecenters. But we are working on modalities to ensure that these telecenters sustain themselves in the near future.

Kindly share with readers the status report of what your directorate has been undertaking since its inception.

The Government through, RDB-IT, has embraced the setting up of Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MCTs) as part of its programme to bridge the prevalent digital divide within rural Rwanda and the rest of the world.

This rural community access programme, hugely accorded attention by the government, bodes well with the policy to implement national e-government and e-governance programmes pegged on improving public and private sector service delivery.

There are so far 12 telecentres deployed and operational at the countryside in the first phase. More 18 telecenters are being constructed and nearing completion in terms of construction, equipment, connectivity and operational plan.

Multi-purpose community telecentres will link rural communities to urban areas as well as internationally.

This will allow for services such as video conferencing, enabling doctors, teachers, and other professionals to communicate, consult and learn from their colleagues in other parts of the country and from experts abroad.

E-learning will be taking place on a broader scale, allowing professors to provide training to several hundred students at a time through online facilities.

Read full article/interview at: http://4g-wirelessevolution.tmcnet.com/news/2009/08/25/4338187.htm

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