Mobile technology access in Rwanda


Technology gives users freedom, symbolises wealth and revolutionises the way we live. In different societies, technology can varying in its uses and significance. In Jonathan Donner’s ‘The social and economic implications of mobile telephony in Rwanda: An ownership/Access typology’ (Donner, J. 2006. Knowledge, Technology and Policy, 19 (2): 17-28), the significance of the digital divide is discussed and the African country of Rwanda is explored as a case study.

The reading contextalises Rwanda as a developing nation, still recovering from genocide and a civil war that happened in 1994. Despite this, the use of mobile technology is incrementally rising and Donner explains that in Rwanda it has been both socially and economically beneficial for Rwandans. Mobile technology has encouraged productivity in the region for example businesses can now carry out their business over the phone with their clients. In terms of social implications, mobile technology has helped to connect the 8 million Rwandans whom mostly live in rural areas; it helps keep families and friends in touch with each other.

‘Rwandans are quite optimistic about the potential of mobiles to
improve their lives, and express this optimism by voting with their pocketbooks,
buying and using mobiles almost whenever possible.’ (Donner, 2006, p. 26)