Airtel Rwanda on Monday launched Rwanda’s most affordable 4G smartphone as part of the government’s ConnectRwanda2.0 initiative.
Residents of Kayonza district will be among the first to benefit from the pioneering venture. By the end of 2024, the strategic effort aims to provide high-speed, cutting-edge smartphones to over 1 million Rwandans, many of whom will be experiencing the digital world for the first time.
The smartphone is now offered at a discounted price of 20,000 Rwandan francs (about $19). Owners will also be eligible for unlimited calls and texts, and 1 GB of 4G data daily, for a monthly fee of just 1,000 Rwandan francs (about $1).
All other Airtel smartphone customers will enjoy new rates starting at 3,000 Rwandan francs (about $3) per month for 1 GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.
“Airtel Rwanda is extremely grateful to be able to join forces with the government’s ConnectRwanda2.0 initiative, paving the way for a digital revolution,” said Emmanuel Hamez, Airtel Rwanda’s managing director. “We are immensely proud to be part of this initiative that promises to foster Rwanda’s digital access.”
The affordable offering was made possible in part through a donation from Reed Hastings, co-founder and executive chairman of Netflix, who contributed to smartphone affordability under the initiative.
“This exciting partnership between Airtel Rwanda and Netflix founder Reed Hastings marks a significant milestone towards unlocking smartphone affordability,” said Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s minister of information and communications technology and innovation.
ConnectRwanda2.0 represents an ambitious effort by the government and industry to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies and narrow the technological gap, including providing citizens with smartphones.