(Ecofin Agency) - In an interview with KT Press on April 3, 2020, Rwanda's Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire (pictured), said the bankruptcy of satellite internet startup OneWeb will not affect the country. The minister was reassuring the public about the government's 2019 investment in OneWeb to launch the “Icyerekezo” satellite into space.
Icyerekezo is expected to go into operation in April to provide connectivity in remote areas of the country, with priority to schools. OneWeb said on 27 March that it would continue to operate pending a takeover. So the satellite will provide service as planned. However, the minister says the country has other solutions.
“Our partnership with OneWeb isn’t the only avenue through which the Government seeks to leverage satellites to connect underserved areas. Particularly, for schools in remote locations, we are working with other partners that will bridge the connectivity gap in remote locations,” Ingabire said.
Although OneWeb is in a difficult position and is looking for a buyer that can pursue its vision of universal Internet access through a constellation of satellites, Rwanda intends to continue its relationship with the company. According to Paula Ingabire, the two partners will pursue their collaboration.