Rwanda introduces first local instant messaging service

NAIROBI, KENYA – The government of Rwanda has kept its promise to spearhead local content generation by launching an online instant messaging service known as Intego.

Intego is already being used at the Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA) offices but is not yet available to the public, as some aspects are yet to be fully developed, said RITA executive director Nkubito Bakuramutsa.

With the new messenger, RITA hopes to demonstrate that the Rwandese can reduce Internet costs by generating local content and increasing productivity through timely communications processes.

Apart from the service, which targets the youth and the tech-savvy, RITA has also developed the Isoko program, which provides farmers access to food prices through their mobile phones.

“RITA is helping Rwandans to become ICT professionals, and not mere ICT degree holders, through training,” Bakuramutsa said. “RITA will build partnerships with the private sector in order to understand their issues better.”

As part of its commitment to partnering with the private sector, RITA is launching an ICT award in two weeks. The public will nominate recipients online, said Jacob Gahamanyi, RITA’s private sector development officer, and the award will seek to encourage best ICT practices.

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