By The Associated Press
Rwanda signs Internet deal with MCI
KIGALI, Rwanda - Rwanda is revamping its war-torn telecommunications system
and will soon be on the Internet through a deal with MCI Communications,
the head of state-run Rwandatel said Friday.
Few private individuals here own personal computers. But there are numerous
United Nations and government agencies, as well as international aid
organizations and embassies that want the opportunity to log on.And, as in
other countries in Africa, Rwanda's lone university will be able to use the
Internet to provide its students with a link to the outside world.
Sam Nkuzi, head of Rwandatel, said the state-run phone company was
upgrading its entire network for the Internet and because of increased
demand. A satellite link for providing Internet access would be working
within a week, and Rwandatel as well as two local access providers would
offer connections, he said.
Nkuzi did not elaborate on the deal with MCI.
"The only worry will be people knowing how to use it," he said. "It's not
something you can learn overnight."
In July 1994, Rwanda's telecommunications network was in shambles at the
end of a four-year civil war and genocide that left half a million minority
Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus dead and the country's infrastructure
With a per capita annual income of less than $100, the tiny central African
nation is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Despite their own internal problems, Rwanda's central African neighbors --
Congo, Uganda and Burundi -- have been moving ahead in telecommunications.
Congo and Burundi have cellular telephone networks, and Uganda has been on
the Internet for several years.
Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Steve Song <[log in to unmask]>
Unganisha (Connectivity) Project
International Development Research Centre
P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1G 3H9
Tel. +1 613 236 6163 x2268 Fax +1 613 567 7748