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Rwanda InfoDevrapport



ICT is central to Rwanda's Vision for 2020, and ICT in education is one of the core pillars of the country's National Information and Communications Infrastructure Policy and Plan, adopted in 2000. Tremendous progress has been made since then and the country continues to receive plaudits and support from its development partners. The pace of development of a national ICT infrastructure is remarkable as is the progress within the education system on disseminating computers and providing connectivity and teacher training. Moreover, there is a nationwide effort to provide universal access to both infrastructure and the Internet in order to facilitate ICT4D in the broadest sense.

The national SchoolNet project included in the NICI-2010 plan is intended to be the vehicle for school connectivity. A non-binding schools agreement has been signed with Microsoft for the use of their software in Rwandan schools at a significantly reduced annual fee from their usual commercial offerings. This will extend to the use of the Microsoft XP operating system and Microsoft Office. As well, there is hope that, with assistance, this access can be expanded to link secondary schools and, potentially, primary schools as well. Rwednet will be part of the UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking, an association of national research and education networks (NRENs) across Africa.

Country Profile

Rwanda, a landlocked country with a painful history, is one of the world's poorer nations. However, it has made remarkable progress over the last decade in economic growth, increases in per capita income, and decreases in poverty levels. As well, it boasts the highest proportion in the world of female members of parliament at 48%. Rwanda is well on the way to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for education and is successfully containing the spread of AIDS. Over one-third of the national budget is spent on health and education.

According to the World Bank, Rwanda receives about 60% of its annual public spending from about 10 significant bilateral and multilateral donors. About half of this amount is provided through budget support from the African Development Bank, DFID, the European Commission, Sweden, and the World Bank. The remainder comes via projects using parallel delivery mechanisms and donor procedures that are funded by the above donors as well as by Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA, and various UN programs and Global Funds. The 2000 report from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda Vision 2020, was adopted by the government in 2002. It sets out a vision for the country along with strategies that focus on education and human resource development through the use of ICT.

The Education System

Three years of pre-primary education is available in Rwanda, followed by six years of free compulsory primary education. Fees for primary education were abolished in 2003. As mentioned previously, Rwanda is well on the way to meeting the education MDGs, with net primary enrolment at 94%, and the ratio of girls to boys enrolled in primary schools at 100%. Secondary education is divided into two levels. The lower level is a three-year program of general studies for all students following primary education. The higher level, also three years, offers both academic and technical/vocational options. Tertiary education is offered by the country's six public and 14 private universities as well as by specialized public and private institutes. The National University of Rwanda

(NUR) and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) are particularly noteworthy in terms of ICT in education - NUR because of its academic excellence in ICT and KIST because of its ICT training mandate and its partnership with the African Virtual University (AVU). While most schools and institutions of higher education come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, the churches are also significant providers.


Creating access to ICT infrastructure is at the heart of Vision 2020, and the government is being widely recognized and applauded for the achievements since the promulgation of its ICT policy and plans. However, there remain plenty of challenges: the extent and quality of ICT infrastructure and access to the Internet varies widely, computer hardware is in short supply, the skilled resource pool is small, and financial resources are scarce. Findings from a recent feasibility study on community information centers (CICs) are indicative of the task ahead. Although the idea of setting up CICs appeals to Rwandans, the study findings reveal that only 7% of the population have ever used the Internet, and 71% have never even heard of it - not surprising given that the vast majority of

Rwandans live in rural areas.

Rwanda Terracom, founded in 2004 as a private company, has been the national telecom service provider and has been developing a state-of-the-art fiber optic network connecting schools, hospitals, and government buildings in Kigali. The next step will be to extend the network to the next four largest cities - more than half the population. Base stations will allow wireless connections to the cable from several kilometers away. Anyone who is patched in will benefit from data transfer speeds of up to 2 Mbps that will offer phone, Internet, and television services. This network, together with the highest VSAT density of any African country, will enable every household to have a mobile phone within the next two years. In July 2007, the government of Rwanda announced that it will take over Terracom, buying back all shares in Terracom from its private owners and changing its name to Rwandatel.20 While not the primary reason for this decision, government dissatisfaction with the slow pace of the roll-out of Internet connectivity to schools was a contributing factor.

ICTs in Education

In 2000 just one school in the country had a computer. Six years later over half of primary and secondary schools have been equipped with hardware, over 2,000 teachers have received ICT training, and all public schools are expected to join the information superhighway by the end of 2008. Already, out of the 400 secondary schools that have been fully equipped, 39 of them having wireless Internet access. At the tertiary level, all universities and institutes have computers. The two primary universities, NUR and KIST, are the best equipped with ICT infrastructure consistent with their mandates to provide leadership in achieving Vision 2020. However, all universities are independently connected to the Internet in various ways such as fiber optic cable, wireless broadband (Wi-Fi), leased lines, and VSATs. There is no direct inter-university connectivity, and most Internet traffic is focused on international Web sites that are costly and slow to access due to expensive and limited international

bandwidth. However, this is about to change with the development of the Rwanda Education and Research Network (Rwednet), which will enable broadband access for all higher education institutions and research centers.

Current ICT Initiatives and Projects

Project: Market and employment information dissemination via FM radio stations throughout the

country. FM coverage is excellent and radios are generally affordable. FM stations provide this service as a contribution to poverty reduction.

·  For more information: Gahamanyi Jacob, www.rwandagateway.org

Project: HIV/AIDS and other health information is provided to clinics and health workers around

the country via cell phones using an Internet platform.

· Organization(s): TRACnet, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health,

and the Centre for AIDS Treatment and Research (TRAC)

·  Funding source: RwandaTel and MTN-Rwandacell provide toll-free numbers and donate  network time to support TRACnet.

·  For more information: www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/news/2005/story10-28-05.html

Project: Project: Distance education programs are offered by the. KIE hosts a program for training under-qualified secondary school teachers. Foreign institutions offer programs in information management, information technology, and business management

· Organization(s): AVU in collaboration with NUR and KIST

·  Funding source: University of South Africa, in partnership with KIE, and the University of  Australia (with KIST), offer programs. Others are offered directly by European and American  institutions.

·  For more information: Rwanda institutions and Ministry of Education

Project: Project: Rollout of computers to secondary schools

2,100 computers have already been distributed to secondary schools, and another 2,200 are ready for distribution. The target is to continue distribution at 300 computers per month.

· Organization(s): Ministry of Education; Rwanda Network Computer

·  Funding source: a Kigali based company, is building the computers.

·  For more information: Ministry of Education

Project: Project: ICT training in basic skills

For 3,000 secondary school teachers carried out in partnership with Microsoft Partners in Learning (PIL) using a trainer-of-trainers model.

· Organization(s): RITC and PIL managed the project

·  Funding source: PIL, Microsoft Emerging Markets Team, RITC, and the Ministry of  Education provided the funding

·  For more information: Ministry of Education

Project: Project: In-depth ICT training

1,000 secondary school teachers: The objective was to following on from the basic skills training to train two teachers per school with higher-level skills such as troubleshooting and fault-finding. These teachers are expected to train other teachers in the schools.

· Organization(s): RITC managed the program

·  Funding source: Ministry of Education

·  For more information: Ministry of Education

Project: Content development

Fifteen NCDC curricula developers were selected for training in the development of digital curricula. Trainers from World Links provided the first course, which was followed by an intensive six-day course using expert trainers from Learnthings that included a follow-up six-month mentoring program of on-line support. Discussions have also been initiated with SUN Microsystems Global Education Learning Community (GELC) for the use of open source curricula content software.

· Organization(s): The NCDC managed the project

·  Funding source: PIL

·  For more information: NCDC

Project: Rollout of computers to primary schools

Two desktop computers were provided to 98 primary schools with power, and one laptop plus solar supply provided to another 1,018 primary schools without power. A rollout of up to five computers in each of the 2,200 primary schools in Rwanda is planned over a three-year period beginning in 2007.

· Organization(s): World Links

·  Funding source: UNESCO, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank have  supported the rollout of computers in schools generally, particularly to assist in the teaching of  science.

·  For more information: Ministry of Education

Project: Training of primary school teachers in computer skills

Two teachers in each of the schools equipped with a computer were trained in basic computer literacy who then trained colleagues. A total of 2,216 teachers were trained. This training program will be continued in line with the MINEDUC program to roll out computers to primary schools.

· Organization(s): World Links provided the training in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC)

·  For more information: MINEDUC

Project: Microsoft Pathfinder program

A new initiative from Microsoft for a pan-African partnership network for sharing knowledge and providing training in ICT.

· Organization(s): Microsoft, RITA, and MINEDUC

·  For more information: RITA

Project: Phase 1 of NEPAD e-Schools Initiative

A demo project that includes six schools in Rwanda. Private sector consortia are providing the components to equip the schools with the latest ICT technology, including full Internet capability, a media centre, content, and e-curricula. Six sites are being targeted from 2005 to 2007.

· Organization(s): CISCO and Microsoft

·  For more information: MINEDUC

Project: Hundred dollar laptops

The government will collaborate with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) non-profit association to test the applicability of the technology. There will be no cost to Rwanda.

·  Funding source: Ministries of Infrastructure and Education and the Minister of Science and  Technology and Research in the President's Office.

·  For more information: MINEDUC

Project: KIST

An intensive program to train ICT technicians to maintain hardware, software, and networks, aiming to build local capacity to maintain the ICT infrastructure through staff upgrading. KIST has also introduced a CISCO Network Academy Program and Microsoft Certification Program.

· Organization(s): In collaboration with DFID 

·  For more information: www.schoolnetafrica.net/1409.0.html

Project: A program to establish telecentres in the country has been launched as a way of improving access to information, to enhance educational standards, and to foster human resource development.

· Organization(s): RITA is the lead agency

·  Funding source: The government has earmarked USD$1 billion.

·  For more information:  http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200603/29/eng20060329_254425.html 

Project: Support to village phone operators (VPOs) to operate businesses where no telecommunications services exist. The concept, pioneered by the Grameen Foundation, assists the VPOs to rent their phone to their community on a per-call basis. They provide affordable rates to their patrons while earning enough to repay their loans and earn profits. Currently located in 14 of 30  districts. The goal is to have over 3,000 VPOs by 2009.

· Organization(s): Village Phone Rwanda was created as a joint venture between the Grameen  Foundation and MTN Rwanda

·  For more information: www.grameenfoundation.org/where_we_work/sub_saharan_africa/rwanda/village_phone_rwanda 

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+ Éducation nationale et politique TIC (6 sous-catégorie disponible; 6 contient des données, dont (0) document)

+ Équipement, connectivité et accès (8 sous-catégorie disponible; 7 contient des données, dont 0 document)

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+ Impact des TIC dans l'enseignement sur les étudiants et l'apprentissage (3 sous-catégorie disponible; 0 contient des données, dont 0 document)

+ TIC et gestion de l'établissement (10 sous-catégorie disponible; 5 contient des données, dont 0 document)

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