Rwanda launches first-ever satellite to link rural schools to the internet

Rwanda launches first-ever satellite to link rural schools to the internet

- Rwanda launched the country's first-ever satellite in 2019

- This is part of measure by the government to connect rural schools to the internet

- Rwanda partnered with UK-based company to launch the satellite

As part of measures to connect remote schools to the internet, the Rwandan government and a UK-based company, OneWeb, have launched the country's first ever satellite that will connect rural schools.

Many schools in the rural parts of Rwanda are without proper road networks and electricity, making it difficult to acquire internet connectivity.

Rwanda in partnership with a UK-based communications company launched a satellite broadcaster that will connect remote schools to the internet.

Rwanda’s Ministry of Information Telecommunication Technology and Innovation said in a statement that the global Satellite named ‘Icyerekezo’ which means ‘Vision’ in English, is a symbol of Rwanda’s commitment to building the local space industry, build local capacity, inspire the younger generation and prepare to usher Rwanda into a hyper-connected future.

“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 Rwanda Minister of ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire.

“Without a means of connection, economies stagnate, education falls behind, and development slows significantly compared to connected regions,” she added.

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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.

“We are delighted to partner with OneWeb in this transformative initiative which presents us a huge opportunity to leverage satellite connectivity, using OneWeb’s constellation, providing low-latency and high-speed internet to schools in remote communities of Rwanda,” Paula Ingabire said.

The Satellite above cited was sent into orbit at around 11:30 p.m. (Rwandan time) from a spaceport on the Atlantic coast of French Guiana as issued by the Ministry of ICT.

Through this partnership with One Web, remote schools in the country will be connected to the fastest WiFi Internet.

“This partnership with One-Web to use satellite technology and connect all schools is a huge opportunity to support and allow us to leapfrog the current process in a bid to connect all schools in the country in the next 3 years,” the Minister of Education, Dr. Eugene Mutimura said.

Greg Wyler, Founder, and Chairman of One Web said, “Connecting remote schools to bridge the digital divide that still impacts half the population of the world is at the heart of OneWeb’s vision.''

''We are delighted to partner with the Rwandan Government and particularly the students of Nkombo. The connectivity we can provide them will allow them to realize their dreams and allow Rwanda to become a hub for technological innovation,” he added

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