The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) CEO, Ms. Pichette Kampeta Sayinzoga, was appointed by the Board on the 20th December 2019, and assumed office on the 31st December 2019.
Ms. Kampeta’s first public appearance after beginning her duties was this Friday 3rd January 2020 when she gave a visit to MTN Head Office to honor the Bank’s pledge and deliver a 50m Frw cheque that guarantees the purchase of 500 smartphones of brand type Mara X as contribution to the ongoing #ConnectRwanda challenge and place smartphones in the hands of women leaders of rural cooperatives.
“We are honored to be the first brand to deliver our pledge to ensure that women leaders in rural cooperatives also get access to digitalization,” Kampeta told MTN Executives.
She said sponsoring Made-in-Rwanda phones is a double win because it increases digital penetration and promotes made-in-Rwanda products.
As Rwanda looks to technology and innovation to achieve its aspirations of becoming a knowledge-based economy by 2035, MTN Rwanda in partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation launched a National initiative where Corporate Institutions and individuals make a voluntary pledge to put a smartphone in the hands of unconnected Rwandans.
The essence of the #ConnectRwanda campaign is for private companies, govt institutions and individuals to come together and drive the digital agenda to connect all Rwandans to the digital world by providing smartphones to people who otherwise would take 10 years to afford them.
BRD views joining this cause as an imperative Corporate Social Investment/Responsibility. Given the overall mandate of BRD as a Development Financial Institution, contributing to Rwanda’s socio-economic development, this initiative will serve a great deal towards smartphone penetration and digital adoption in Rwanda whilst bridging the country’s digital divide, particularly in rural Rwanda and BRD is a proud contributor to this national achievement.
Access to smartphones across the country serves more purposes than just connectivity. Increased smartphone penetration will among other things boost public service delivery as well as map out new markets that were previously inaccessible; such as financial services (in turn boosting financial inclusion, increased savings and a general growth in the formally banked population which is currently around 26 per cent), healthcare services, and insurance penetration among others which in the long term benefits our mission and vision.
According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), the increase of ownership of mobile phones has a coloration with the increase in economic growth. The initiative could be an ideal way to ensure that all Rwandan households have a smartphone in 2020.
With a majority of government services currently being offered on Irembo – a Public service delivery portal, increased smartphone access will improve the uptake of the services and the efficiency of service delivery.
MTN and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation will work with local leaders to identify the vulnerable households to give the gadgets to. MTN Rwanda also committed to connecting all the handsets with SIM cards loaded with 1GB of data per month for the first three months.
The campaign targets vulnerable households. The first round of distribution will cater for households without a cellphone at all.
The smartphones will have pre-installed applications including Irembo, Banking, health and education services as well as Smart Nkunganire System (SNS), a supply chain management system built by BK TecHouse Ltd in collaboration with Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) to digitalize the end to end value chain of the Agro-Input Subsidy program.
The smartphones will assist the poor families in accessing government services without having to go through or be assisted by a third party.