Digital Literacy is a corner stone to turn Rwanda into a digitized and knowledge-based economy in the upcoming decade. At the same time, not everyone has access to digital services yet or does not know how to use them. Therefore, GIZ supports the Government of Rwanda to promote digital literacy initiatives such as the Digital Ambassadors Program and the e-learning platform atingi.

Promoting Digital Literacy in Rwanda through the Digital Ambassadors Program

The Government of Rwanda has embarked on an inclusive digital transformation journey where digital literacy is the corner stone contributing to a knowledge-based economy. Over the past two decades, Rwanda has witnessed unprecedented growth in which Information and communication technologies (ICT) are considered as enablers. Businesses and other organizations interact with citizens and clients to make a difference in terms of government operations, public services delivery, citizen participation, policy and decision making, governance reforms and business promotion.

The Digital Ambassadors Program (DAP) is an initiative led by the Rwandan Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) aimed at increasing the number of digitally literate citizens and their use of e-Government and e-Business services in Rwanda. The Digital Ambassadors manage Services Access Points in all 30 districts in Rwanda and offer digital literacy skills to citizens. It is an innovative way to reach out to the last mile citizen in rural areas where the proximity plays a great role in building trust between citizens and the Digital Ambassador.
Digital Ambassadors Training onsite
Initially, the digital ambassadors were given a printed booklet of about 16 pages. The last pages have empty lines where citizens can make notes and respond to quizzes. During the trainings, a quick demo is usually provided using either a feature phone or a smartphone for those who have one.

Accessing Content on the E-learning Platform atingi

In order to support the Digital Ambassadors in their role of training citizens on digital skills, the e-learning platform atingi was introduced. On atingi, content is accessible on any device, anywhere and anytime to young people and citizens in rural regions. The courses cover a wide range of topics, such as vocational orientation, digital transformation, health, entrepreneurship among others, all of which are aimed at increasing employability and skills.

GIZ together with the MINICT in Rwanda are developing more and more localized educational content which is relevant for Rwandan citizens and accessible for them at no cost. The educational content is developed locally with the aim of increasing the level of digital literacy among citizens and also improving vocational training and employability for future jobs. The content will be available in several languages such as Kinyarwanda, French and English.

Promoting the e-learning platform atingi in Rwanda

What atingi is all about

atingi means to achieve something in Esperanto, an international language developed in the late 1980s. In Rwanda, atingi aims not only at removing obstacles along the way to a successful professional future, but also to close the digital literacy gap for citizens to be able to access e-government services. atingi openly provides the necessary study material and opportunities to network in order to build successful careers and achieve something.

Graduate students, entrepreneurs and professionals from various industries need to participate and learn on a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. Particularly smartphones are already relatively common in Rwanda as the number of people with access to the internet is growing at a steady pace under the ‘connect Rwanda’ project initiated by MINICT.

Challenges of Digital Literacy & atingi in Rwanda and Way forward

In Rwanda, atingi has been considered as part of the post-Covid recovery, a digital learning platform designed and developed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) that uses digital technology to assist young job seekers into the labor market.

The ever lasting challenge to the implementation of the project is the total dependency on the internet to access the content on BMZ has come up with the solution of atingi-in-a-box which offers an offline connectivity solution for learning in areas with no or low bandwidth. The box contains an offline version of atingi with a few sample courses. Technically, this box contains a Raspberry Pi, (mini-computer) which has various interfaces. The box can be connected to the internet – e.g. to synchronise a forum – but it also works offline in the areas with low bandwidths or where the internet has not yet penetrated.

In the near future, Digital Ambassadors will be provided with Raspberry Pis on which the selected content is uploaded. He/she travels with this atingi offline hub, and carries it to the different locations, for instance, for citizen training. This atingi offline hub synchronizes whenever digital ambassadors return to the office, e.g. at district level and offers a great solution to offline challenges in the country.

Launching atingi in Rwanda

Join our atingi launch event

The Digital Ambassadors Program is only one of the activities we promote at the DigiCenter. If you would like to get to know more about our work, have a look at our solutions and events, and follow us on social media.

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