(Ecofin Agency) - According to the GSM Association, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 206 million people are not covered by mobile networks. To allow its residents - who are not covered by mobile networks - access to digital services, Rwanda wants to rely on satellite internet.
The Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) signed, Monday (June 6), a memorandum of understanding with the Global Satellite Operators Association (GSOA). Under this partnership, the two parties will explore ways to improve satellite communication services and accelerate digital inclusion in Rwanda, and Africa as a whole.
The agreement covers key areas such as supporting the deployment of satellite communication services in Rwanda and preserving access to satellite spectrum. It will also contribute to preserving access to orbital slots reserved for developing countries, cooperation with African space agencies and the promotion of satellite communication services in Rwanda and Africa.
According to GSOA secretary-general Aarti Holla-Maini (photo), the cooperation will facilitate the development of satellite communication services in Rwanda and provide support to the RSA to ensure that satellite spectrum are used for sustainable development.
The agreement is announced two years after the Rwandan Space Agency was created, making Rwanda one of the few African countries that have space agencies. Apart from Rwanda, African countries with space agencies are notably Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
In its report "The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2021," the GSM Association (GSMA) revealed that mobile Internet penetration was just 28 percent in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 while the mobile penetration rate was 46 percent. So, in the region, the outstanding majority of the population does not have access to internet. But, telecom operators and governments are looking for solutions to allow access to telecom services for people, especially those living in rural areas with little or no terrestrial telecom service coverage.
Isaac K. Kassouwi