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Tony Blair Institute brings high-speed internet access to schools in Rwanda


Press Release23rd March 2023

This week, Tony Blair visited one of the first schools in Rwanda accessing highspeed internet provided by Starlink.

Over the course of the next month, the Government of Rwanda will install Starlink internet terminals in 50 schools across the country in order to accelerate students’ access to fast, reliable internet. The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) is accelerating the government’s 500-school connectivity pilot, by leveraging funding and support to provide schools with better connectivity through Starlink.

TBI, in current and previous iterations of the organisation, has worked with the Government of Rwanda in the areas of strategy, policy and delivery for 15 years, and both parties view technology as a key enabler of progress.

His Excellency President Kagame continues leading Rwanda on its ambition to become the technology capital of Africa, using innovation to solve the country’s biggest challenges and to build the human capital of its citizens. Rwanda has 95% 4G coverage and a broadband fibre backbone to all major cities, but Rwanda’s geography means that some areas of the country are hard to reach at affordable cost and high reliability using these technologies.

Through the Tomorrow Partnership, TBI supports the government of Rwanda to implement its ambitious plans towards achieving government-led Vison 2050 outcomes on building Rwanda’s human capital, better service delivery, better health outcomes, better agriculture and food security, as well as positioning Rwanda’s ICT sector for the development of Rwanda.

Stella Mugabo, TBI Country Director for Rwanda, said:

“Technology can be the great leveller helping to bridge inequality gaps and accelerate progress. At TBI, we believe tomorrow will belong to the countries, companies and entrepreneurs that work together to harness its power for good.

“Connecting these schools demonstrates the art of the possible, and the fundamental mission of The Tomorrow Partnership: provide problem-solvers the technology to enable the best possible solutions.

“It’s clear that when we bring policymakers who are committed to accelerating the delivery of real change for their people together with technology companies like Starlink, you can feel the energy and a real excitement around the potential for progress.”

Honourable Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information Communication Technologies, and Innovation in Rwanda, said:

“We are glad to have partners that have really embraced and bought into the vision of Rwanda positioning itself to be a proof of concept hub for entrepreneurs and innovators, to build and scale their digital solutions. The Tony Blair Institute’s initiative through the Tomorrow Partnership is supporting the Government of Rwanda by providing expertise and technical assistance, so that we are able to dream together, co-design and implement impactful programmes, like this week’s launch of high-speed satellite connectivity internet access for schools in Rwanda.”

Honourable Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education in Rwanda, said:

“We want to have all our schools connected to the internet, using different means including fibre, 4G and others, but there are regions that do not have coverage or are difficult to connect. So having the option of satellite is really important, and we are looking forward to connecting some of our most remote schools using this type of connectivity.”

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