MTN Rwandacell PLC (MTN Rwanda) in partnership with Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) and Rwanda Mountain Tea, distributed 566 smartphones to tea farmers in Western and Southern Provinces under the Connect Rwanda initiative.
The #ConnectRwanda initiative, launched in 2019 in partnership with MINICT, challenged organizations in the public and private sector, as well as, individuals to donate smartphones to those who cannot afford them.
Though, the distribution of smartphones was stalled over the last few months by the need to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures and lockdowns, the activity has since resumed.
This initiative is in line with the country’s overall strategy to drive connectivity across the country, closing the digital divide.
“We thank Rwanda Mountain Tea for honouring their pledge of 566 smartphones,” says Mitwa Ng’ambi MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer. “We are also pleased to see Connect Rwanda taking effect, with 44,570 pledges registered, 20,257 honoured and 7,670 smartphones distributed so far, demonstrating just how our objective of connecting Rwanda is bearing fruit and closing the existing digital divide.
We believe with these smartphones; the beneficiaries will have access to a myriad of information, digital services and smart solutions, contributing to the growth of the agricultural sector and economy at large.”
The recipients of this initiative will be trained by MTN on handset usage, in addition to registering them to the network and setting up Mobile Money (MoMo) accounts, allowing them to use various MoMo services. Furthermore, the tea farmers will receive free 1 GB data bundle for three (3) consecutive months, connecting them to the digital world.
“The ConnectRwanda initiative brings us closer, every day, to our goal of ensuring every Rwandan household owns and uses a smartphone to access services and information.
Particularly for farmers, smartphones have become a tool that strengthens market linkages, minimizes post-harvest losses through improved farmer-trader coordination and better delivery of extension and advisory services to farmers.
We are grateful to Rwanda Mountain Tea for joining us on this journey. The 566 tea farmers receiving smartphones will now have quick and easy access to essential information such as daily updates on tea prices, available market and digital financial services while improving their digital literacy,” expressed Paula Ingabire, Hon. Minister of ICT and Innovation.
Commenting during the distribution event in Gatare tea plantation, Alain Kabeja, Rwanda Mountain Tea Managing Director stated, “We are very glad to be giving these smartphones to our tea pluckers. Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd values their effort in contributing to our quality and quantity of tea.
We purchased 700 Mara phones and wanted to join the Connect Rwanda challenge alongside our President and other companies. Out of the 700 purchased, 74 smartphones were distributed before the pandemic in early 2020 and distribution of 566 is currently ongoing, which leaves 60 smartphones to be distributed at a later date.
With these phones distributed in all our 7 tea factories, our tea pluckers will benefit from using Momo Pay to receive payments, access to the internet and Irembo services. We are excited to the see our tea pluckers transition to modern technology that will facilitate their day-to-day activities.”
Rwanda Mountain Tea will be distributing the smartphones to tea farmers in various tea plantations, which include Gatare, Gisakura, Kitabi, Mata, Rubaya, Nyabihu and Rutsiro tea plantations covering both the Western and Southern Provinces.
About Rwanda Mountain Tea
Rwanda Mountain Tea (RMT) is a privately owned company that invested in three business lines; tea growing and processing, Hydropower generation and fabrication of concrete material. RMT tea estates are located in Congo Nile Divide Region. The good quality of green leaf is defined by a regular fresh hills drizzle and naturally cultivated fields making it (green leaf) have an original and purest taste. RMT owns five Tea Factories, namely Rubaya, Kitabi, Nyabihu, Rutsiro and Gatare, all spread across Rwanda’s countryside.
About MTN Rwandacell PLC
MTN Rwandacell PLC (MTN Rwanda) is the market leader in mobile telecommunications in Rwanda. Since 1998, we have continuously invested in expanding and modernising our footprint and are the country’s No 1 network. MTN Rwanda offers various innovative services to consumers and enterprises, including personalised voice, data, home and fixed connectivity solutions. The company is also the front runner in Mobile Financial Services in Rwanda delivered through its FinTech subsidiary, Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd.