5.6 Rwanda

ICT development is a main, cross-cutting issue in Rwanda’s Vision 2020, the country’s framework for economic and social development and conversion to a knowledge-based economy. Given the prominence of ICTs in Rwanda’s development strategy, it is no surprise that its President, Paul Kagame, is a supporter of low-cost computing devices. Kagame is also a personal friend of Nicholas Negroponte, the developer of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative.

Rwanda launched its OLPC programme in October 2008, with three schools receiving 5,000 laptops. Another 10,000 laptops were distributed in 2009 to schools in five districts (Gasabo, Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Rwamagana and Rusizi). The programme in Rwanda called for an additional 100,000 XO laptops to be provided to at least half the primary schools in the country by 2012. 193

Rwanda aims to be a major player in the OLPC movement. In June 2009, Rwanda established the headquarters for the Global Center for Excellence in Laptops and Learning, which is located in the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). 194 Another initiative is dubbed "OLPCorps." It invites university students from around the world come to Rwanda for training. OLPCorps then deploys the trainees different African countries to support the OLPC projects in those nations. 195

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