Two years ago, Digital Ambassadors Programme (DAP) or Intore mu Ikoranabuhanga was introduced to Rwanda; spearheaded by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) in partnership with World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Internet for All Northern Corridor initiative and Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT). The programme aims at reducing the digital divide and increase Citizens' digital literacy.
Marie Jose Shyoli Iradukunda; 22 year-old graduate has been a Digital Ambassador in Musanze District, Northern Province. She describes the changes the programme has brought to her life.
“Before I became a DA, I was very shy and totally unable to express myself in the public. My motivation to use the technology tools was very low. With DOT’s empowerment programs, I gained confidence, work readiness skills and other life skills. The coaching and facilitation skills I acquired made me a new person! I first noticed this when I brought the Digital Ambassadors Program to citizens from Musanze District.” Said Marie Josée
“I am no longer such a young woman who doesn’t know how to tap into technology and build her digital foot print.” She added.
In February 2017, when the programme was introduced to Rwanda, Janet Longmore, founder and CEO of DOT said “Young Digital Ambassadors receive essential ICT, facilitation, and soft skills and will spend time in their communities getting to understand the needs and challenges of community members while providing digital solutions and training.”
Francine Kamanzi, 46-year-old mother from Rugerero Sector, Rubavu District testifies how the programme has transformed her into a regular technology user as opposed to her previous situation.
“At the moment, I quickly apply for e-government services without support from someone. I know how to get information related to Agricultural markets, health and meteorology using the USSD methodology. All these technology skills and knowledge have boosted my confidence, saved my time and money. In summary, I have built strong relationship with my simple mobile phone!”
Muhawenimana Clementine, one of the participants shares how she is learning to use her mobile phone productively:
‘Since I joined the DAP, I discovered that mobile phone is an indispensable part of my life. There are many uses available in my phone, which seem to virtually bring everything into my reach. I am lucky because I will benefit from available major online services with little effort. I know how to manage my phone’s security settings and protect my privacy. I am also looking forward to learn more skills.”
Digital Ambassadors Programme (DAP) was officially launched in September 2017, to mitigate digital illiteracy amongst the population. Today it operates in twelve (12) Districts across the country. Thus far, more than twenty-seven (27) thousands have been trained by the digital Ambassadors (DAs).