Airtel Unveils Rwanda’s Budget-Friendly 4G Smartphone to Accelerate Digital Inclusion

In a groundbreaking move to bolster digital inclusion, Airtel Rwanda has introduced the nation’s most cost-effective 4G smartphone. Aligned with the government’s ConnectRwanda2.0 program, this initiative sets out not only to usher in an era of digitization for a substantial population segment but also underscores Airtel Rwanda’s commitment to accessibility and affordability.

The launch of this affordable smartphone represents an integral part of a strategic aspiration: to equip over a million Rwandans with cutting-edge smartphones by the end of 2024. The pioneering venture aims to benefit residents in the Kayonza district first, taking steps towards bridging the region’s digital divide.

Priced at a discounted rate of 20,000 Rwandan francs (approximately $19), the smartphone package offers additional perks: unlimited calls and texts, along with 1 GB of 4G data daily. For these services, a monthly subscription costs a mere 1,000 Rwandan francs (about $1). This strategic initiative aims to enhance accessibility and affordability in digital connectivity for an extended population segment, most of whom are stepping into the digital realm for their inaugural experience.

Emmanuel Hamez, the Managing Director of Airtel Rwanda, passionately acknowledges his collaboration with the ConnectRwanda2.0 initiative from the government. He underscores its crucial role in advancing digital access for Rwanda. The ultimate aspiration of this initiative is to fuel a digital revolution, endowing citizens with connectivity and technological advancements.

Partly, a generous donation from Reed Hastings, co-founder, and executive chairman of Netflix, made this affordability possible; notably so. Hastings’ contribution for smartphone affordability underscores the significance of collaboration not only between private-sector entities but also governmental initiatives in propelling digital inclusion.

Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology and Innovation, lauds the partnership between Airtel Rwanda and Reed Hastings as a profound milestone; it unlocks smartphone affordability. The initiative, ConnectRwanda2.0, is emblematic; it reflects not only the government’s commitment but also an industry-wide pledge to hasten digital technology adoption while narrowing the country’s technological disparity.

In its endeavor to enhance digital accessibility, Airtel Rwanda is paving the way for a transformative shift within Rwanda’s digital landscape. The ConnectRwanda2.0 initiative, prioritizing affordability and accessibility, stands as an exemplary model; it beckons other nations also aiming to bridge the global digital divide and nurture inclusive technological growth.

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