New computer partnership to increase access to ICT in Rwanda
By Computer Aid International
LONDON, UK, 24 November 2004
Computer Aid International, a British registered not-for-profit and APC member, will officially launch an exciting and innovative new partnership with local not-for-profit, E-ICT, on November 29 in Kigali. By providing an affordable solution to high cost computers, the partnership aims to increase access to ICT for schools and not-for-profits.
To date Computer Aid has provided over 2,000 quality refurbished PCs to not-for-profits across Rwanda including, Pro-Femme, World Links and to projects of Action Aid, as well as to schools coordinated by the Rwanda Information and Telecommunication Agency (RITA). In total Computer Aid has supplied over 39,000 PCs to schools and not-for-profits in more than 90 different developing countries.
“The partnership with e-ICT will bring affordable access to high quality computers with full technical support and training to Rwanda’s schools, colleges, local government, and all not-for-profit organisations.” says Tony Roberts, Chief Executive, Computer Aid International. ”It is an exciting opportunity to support Rwandan initiatives to deploy computers across the education system and to key development organizations of civil society. We expect to reach a target of 5,000 computers provided by the end of 2005.”
The Kigali-based NGO « Electronics & ICT Training Centre » (e-ICT) is led by Rwanda’s Silicon Valley software engineer and leading social entrepreneur Antoine Bigirimana. e-ICT has successfully trained hundreds of de-mobilised combatants in electronics and ICT and is now embarking on deploying computers to state schools across the country in association with the Rwanda Information Technology Authority.
“e-ICT has set itself ambitious targets for ICT deployment to Rwandan schools, colleges and non-profit organisations. This is being achieved through strong partnerships with organisations like RITA and Computer Aid and is possible because of the vision of President Paul Kagame and the clear leadership from his Office and from the Rwandan Government in general. E-ICT would like to work with any school, college, hospital indeed any non-profit organisation in Rwanda to enable them to gain affordable access to ICT and use it effectively in modernising their organisations.” comments Antoine Bigirimana.
RITA has already provided 450 PCs to schools across the country. Juma Okech, Director General for Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA) facilitated the order to Computer Aid: “We were so pleased with the quality of the Pentium II and III machines that we received that we are currently ordering 450 more machines. This will make a great impact in enabling the affordable implementation of ICTs in education and we welcome the partnership of e-ICT and Computer Aid to accelerate this process”.
Pius Ndayambaje, ICT Advisor to the President, kindly accepted to chair the launch: “We are very supportive of Computer Aid’s work in Rwanda. We are welcoming this new project as a part of the various ICT for development initiatives happening in the country at the moment.”