Rwanda, World’s 7th Most Effective Govt To Launch Satellite Connecting Schools With Broadband

The Oasis Reporters

March 16, 2019

Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan with the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame at the WEF in Abuja, 2014.

When Nigeria launched NigComSat 1R under President Goodluck Jonathan, it had an overawed visitor from Rwanda.
The Rwandan President, Paul Kagame wanted to know how the Nigerian satellite worked, and how it could benefit it’s tiny landlocked country.

NigComSat.

Obviously Paul Kagame has not been as satisfied with NigComSat, just as ordinary Nigerians on the street would equally say, that they know little or nothing about it’s operations.

Rwanda has decided to launch a satellite to provide broadband internet to schools in remote areas of the country. Nigeria has over 10 million out of school children, mostly in the North of the country.

The country is therefore partnering with a UK-based communications company to launch the satellite, according to a Rwandan Ministry of ICT and Innovation top official.

The satellite, which is nicknamed “Icyerekezo’’ meaning vision in English, is expected to be sent into orbit from a spaceport on the Atlantic coast of French Guiana, said the ministry in a statement.

Launching the satellite is a symbol of Rwanda’s commitment to build the local space industry, build local capacity, inspire the younger generation and prepare to usher Rwanda into a hyper-connected future, said the statement.

Without a means of connection, economies stagnate, education falls behind, and development slows significantly compared to connected regions, it said.

The government of Rwanda has made remarkable efforts to invest in broadband connectivity and sees this as a great opportunity to continue connecting underserved communities, said Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire in the statement.

Rwanda’s choice to invest in space technologies is part of its broader mission to bridge the digital divide by providing equal digital opportunities to rural and remote communities, said the minister

Paul Kagame tweeted :

@PaulKagame
Was a pleasure meeting with you
@greg_wyler
to hear about the tremendous progress and growth of One Web. The ability to connect the next billion will be a game changer.

Rwandans are happy to enjoy to enjoy digital access as Ndayizeye Manu also tweeted:

“Rwanda has succeeded largely in ICT for the benefit of its citizens. It has surpassed Nigeria in the sector. Paul Kagame has already been honoured by the ICT.

Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Barrister Adebayo presents a NigComSat document to President Paul Kagame. But Kagame wants to launch Rwanda’s own.

Meanwhile, Nigerian investors have already set foot in Rwanda especially in the banking and insurance sectors. Nigerian investments in Rwanda include among others investments in Access Bank and Sonarwa Insurance Company.

Nigerian investors are also present in the ICT sector and private business, with a target of expanding investments to tourism, telecommunication, cultural exchanges, and oil and gas.

Paul Kagame meets with young Nigerian professionals in Abuja.

In other partnerships, Nigeria has been offering support to Rwanda in training of military personnel.

In the last five years, Nigeria has established a permanent diplomatic representation in Kigali and Rwanda has a permanent diplomatic representation in Abuja a year earlier, in order to enhance the economic ties and provide great stimulation to the business sector.

All these and more, have made Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Forbes’ 2018 African of the year.

In the December/January issue of the Forbes Africa magazine shared on December 4, 2018, the President and current Chairperson of the African Union is described as a visionary.

Apart from gracing this cover, he is also the winner of the African of the Year Award by the All Africa Business Leaders Award.

The award, which celebrates and honours leaders for contributing to the African economy, was presented on November 29, 2018.

Paul Kagame was born in Tambwe, Ruanda-Urundi in Rwanda on 23 October 1957. At the time of his birth, the country was a United Nations Trust Territory ruled by Belgium.

He became a refugee when his family fled to Uganda which is where he spent most of his childhood.

Kagame started his journey from refugee to president during the Ugandan Bush War. In 1981, he became a founding soldier for a rebel group called the ‘National Resistance Army’. In 1986, they succeeded in overthrowing Uganda’s government and forming a new one.

He became the head of military intelligence and took command of the ‘Rwandan Patriotic Front’ in October of 1990. He defeated the Rwandan army extremists and created a new government in 1994.

Kagame became President of Rwanda in April 2000. Following the adoption of the new constitution in May 2003, the first elections were held and he was officially elected president on September 12, 2003, after winning Rwanda’s first multiparty election. He was reelected in 2010. He was re-elected for a third term with 98.79% of the votes on August 18, 2017.

As Rwanda is scaling up its ICT sector, Nigeria is still struggling with issues of electricity provision, providing just a little over 4000 MW, actual average generation was 3,800 MW. As of December 2014, the total installed capacity of the power plants was 7,445 MW. Available capacity was 4,949 MW. Actual average generation was less than 3,900 MW. Far less than what New York city alone produces and utilizes.

Ghana’s Installed capacity (2015) is
3655.5 MW, generated from Thermal, Renewable and hydro.

South Africa that is just a third of Nigeria in population, generates above 150,000 MW.

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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