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Rwanda: Harnessing Technology for Better Service Delivery
Source: The New Times
Source Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Focus: Internet Governance
Country: Rwanda
Created: Aug 29, 2013

Go to any village in the country and chances are that you will surely see a community health worker busy on the phone. As a first respondent in health matters, she or he will be reminding one of the pregnant women to go for routine antenatal checkups at the nearest health centre.

In case of complications or an emergency, the health worker will call an ambulance to transport the patient in the shortest time possible. And at the end of the day, the health worker will send a message via sms to his or her supervisors to give a report on the state of health in the respective village . This report is passed on to the Ministry of Health in a record time. Every day, the health ministry has an updated status report and the statistics are based on this unique modus operandi.

The same applies when seeking information from the National Electoral Commission, immigration services or seeking real time student examination results; all it needs is a mobile phone or the click of a computer and one will be served. Rwanda is one of the few countries that has taken advantage of the enormous benefits that come with embracing Information Communication Technology (ICTs) as a fast and reliable way to deliver services.

The government has embraced ICTs to address national issues, such as receiving complaints and passing on information in order to deliver better services to the population.

On top of that, the ambitious project to supply all primary school-going children with laptops and installing solar power in remote villages that are not on the power grid, will create an ICT-savvy generation.

ICT revolution in Rwanda is unstoppable as evidenced by the roll out of the fibre optic cable that snakes through all corners of the county. It is not a white elephant, it is changing lives every day.

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