2006 - The World Bank launched its eRwanda Project, a subset of the second National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI II) Plan that worked on developing government networks, eGovernment platform and eGovernment applications, strengthening public service delivery to the citizens, and increasing ICT skills and awareness. The project began by laying of a fiber-optic broadband network across the country and was finalized in 2010.
2007 - One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) shipped its first laptops to primary schools in Rwanda. Since then, 100,000 children and teachers have joined the program that is supported by the telecom giants who are rolling out connectivity across the country and by the country’s largest universities and educational institutes. OLPC team in Rwanda also organizes teacher-training sessions, community awareness meetings and student workshops to implement a successful laptop integration. By 2017, OLPC hopes to help Rwandan Government to distribute half a million laptops to continue its commitment to provide students with hands-on technology experience during primary education. Ericsson, Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Millennium Promise have launched the ‘Connect to Learn’ initiative to address some of the challenges relating to secondary education access and quality, particularly among the girls, by providing scholarships and bringing ICT to schools in remote, resource-poor parts around the world, including Rwanda, over mobile broadband. The Rwandan Government, CISCO Systems, Microsoft and the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) e-Africa Commission completed 6 NEPAD e-Schools since the launch of NEPAD E-School Initiative in 2003. The program aims to assist Government of Rwanda to transform 50 percent of its secondary schools into NEPAD e-Schools by 2015 and all primary and secondary schools within a further ten years of this date.
2008 - The ICT Bus Project was launched by the Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA) through the eRwanda Project with a main objective to help bridge the digital divide affecting the rural populations in Rwanda. ICT buses are mobile computer labs that make it easier, more convenient and affordable for rural based Rwandans to access ICT services. Four buses were sent to rural communities, where they set up shop for 2 to 3 months, delivering short seminars and training. From late 2009 to 2011, 1,044 people visited ICT buses in 33 of 49 sectors in four remote districts of Rwanda.
2009 - The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) was established as an overhead government institution with focuses on Rwanda’s economic development. In 2010, Rwandan Information and Technology Authority (RITA) was fully merged into RDB. One Global Economy (OGE) and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) partnered up to support the development of 12 Cisco’s Community Knowledge Centers through the training of computer center managers in digital literacy and business management. The Community Technology Access (CTA) project was launched by the partnership of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which aims to provide refugees and displaced persons with access to education and vocational courses through computers in three camps in Rwanda. Funded by USAID, the Rwanda Education Commons (REC) is a four-year program was established to promote the effective use of ICTs in education. Since the start of the program, REC successfully connected almost every Teacher Training College to the internet, facilitated the development of a Ministry of Education IT in Education policy.
2010 - The Ministry of Education published the Education Sector Strategic Plan: 2010 – 2015 (ESSP), which provides an update of ESSP 2008-2012 and a further step on the road towards developing Rwanda’s education sector. The plan stresses the importance of ICT in the classroom that can create a greater access to e-learning resources. With the support from the Canadian Crown corporation International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and in collaboration with UbuntuNet Alliance, Government of Rwanda installed Rwanda Education and Research Network (RwEdNet). It provides broadband access for all Rwanda’s institutions of higher education and linking them to global education and research networks, which the government hopes to link secondary schools and, potentially, primary schools as well.
2011 - Rwanda has acknowledged the need for ICT training and education in schools, and committed to a rapid deployment and exploitation of ICTs within the educational system. Continuing on with its five-year rolling plans, the Government of Rwanda adopted the third NICI plan that ran until 2015. As the first and second plans provided for the policy and infrastructure environment, NICI-2015 focuses more directly on ICT service delivery and targets local communities. The five themes that the plan focuses on are skills development, community development, private sector development of the ICT sector, cyber security, and egovernment. The fourth plan, NICI-2020, consolidates the NICI process towards achieving the overall goal of the NICI series and Vision 2020: turning Rwanda into a middle-income country and an information-rich knowledge-based society and economy.
2014 - Samsung Electronics East Africa has launched the first Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS). The new project will provide a technology-rich learning and teaching environment in Rwandan schools. With a vision to reach over 2.5 million students in Africa by 2015, the programme focuses on the deployment of ICT infrastructure, professional development of educators, content development and management, school administration and management as well as sharing best practices in the integration of ICTs in enhancing learning and teaching in the classroom. The Ministry of Education in Rwanda and Microsoft has signed an Education Transformation Agreement with the plan of improving learning innovation and skills development for both teachers and students through Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PIL).
Furthermore, Microsoft signed an agreement with the Ministry that reduces the price of Microsoft software programs for the benefit of education. Low price Microsoft programs have been installed in 3,000 computers in primary and secondary schools.
2015 - City of Kigali, in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Youth and ICT and other stakeholders, has launched the Internet Bus Project, where it plans to provide free internet access on public busses across the city. The Ministry of Youth and ICT adopted SMART Rwanda 2020 Master Plan (SRMP) where the government plans to improved quality of education by enabling delivery of digital contents for instruction, irrespective their location and also facilitate the relationship between institutions. Open Learning Exchange (OLE) has completed its program in Rwanda (OLE Rwanda) where it trained 200 teachers from 20 primary schools in rural and urban areas how to best utilize content on the Basic e-Learning Library (BeLL) and how to encourage and support one another through Peer-to-Peer training.
2016 - The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Rwandan Ministry of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster education quality through the launch of the new Inter-Country Quality Node on Teaching and Learning (ICQN-TL). The program will focus on professional development of teachers and other areas of learning related to the curriculum, a reformed learning assessment method and a reformed skills provision strategy.
Non-profit organization that operates as a national resource center on child abuse and neglect and children’s rights. They provide information and technical expertise on child protection and child rights issues, carry out research on emerging children’s issues and lobby governments, donors, other NGOs and communities on behalf of children.
Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI)
Part of the UN ICT task-force, focused on ICT education across Africa and the developing world. Provides technical and research assistance to e-learning programs.
INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.
ITU Development Sector, Africa
ITU-D fosters international cooperation and solidarity in the delivery of technical assistance and in the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication and ICT equipment and networks in developing countries.
Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion
The Ministry is the central government institution mandated to ensure strategic coordination of policy implementation in the area of gender,family,women’s empowerment and children’s issues.
Ministry of Youth and ICT
The Ministry addresses national priorities for economic growth and poverty reduction through the development and coordination of national policies and programs related to youth empowerment as well as Information & Communication Technology policies and programs.
National Commission for Children (NCC)
The commission is an organ under Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion to protect children’s rights.
Its e-Schools initiative is operating several African nations, including Rwanda. The aim of the project is to provide students in both primary and secondary education with ICT skills and knowledge which will enable them to participate in the emerging Information Society and Knowledge Economy.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
A nonprofit organization launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, whose aim to empower the world’s poorest children through education by providing a low cost laptops.
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA)
One of the sectors for which RURA is responsible is that of communications and media regulations, including ICT. The Agency oversees the rollout and function of telecom operators whilst also leading the process of creating the Rwandan information society.
Save the Children Rwanda
The organization works in partnership with the government and local stakeholders to promote a bright future for Rwanda’s children.
The organization was started by the Rwandan Universities Network and aims to provide a network to encourage users to utilize the Internet for more than just entertainment. Some basic Internet safety advice for children and young people is provided as articles on the website.
An international non-governmental organization whose mission is to improve educational outcomes, economic opportunities, and global understanding for youth in developing countries through the use of technology and the internet.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (2015)Peter Wallet
This document presents the current status of the Information and communication technologies in Education in the Sub-Saharan region.
How ITC Impacing Education In Rwanda (2013)DC Technology Salon
DC Technology Salon complied a list of resources that answers the quesiont How ITC Impacing Education in Rwanda.
Introducing ICT into schools in Rwanda: Educational challenges and opportunities (2011)Jolly Rubagiza, Edmond Were, Rosamund Sutherland
Examines issues related to the use of ICTs in schools in Rwanda.
ICT in Education in Rwanda (2007)Glen Farrell
The report provides a general overview of current activities and issues related to ICT use in education in the country
This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age for consent for sexual activity in Rwanda is eighteen, as is the legal age of majority.
- Article 182, Penal Code. Definition of Indecent Assault. Defines indecent assault as acts contrary to the customs and morality which undermine the dignity and cultural identity of a person.
- Article 183, Penal Code. Indecent Assault Against a Child. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for between two and five years and a fine of RWF 100,000 to 200,000 for anyone who indecently assaults a child (i.e. person under the age of eighteen years) or attempts to do so.
- Article 184, Penal Code. Indecent Assault With Violence, Trickery or Threats Against a Person Aged Eighteen or Above. States that anyone who indecently assaults an adult with violence, trickery or threats will be liable to imprisonment for a term of between six months and two years. Where the victim falls ill following the offense, the sentence will be increased to between two and five years’ imprisonment. This is further aggravated to between ten and fifteen years if the victim is infected with an incurable illness. Where the offense results in the death of the victim, the penalty shall be life imprisonment.
- Article 185, Penal Code. Public Indecent Assault. This Article states that it is an offense to indecently assault another person in public, which renders the offender liable to a term of imprisonment between one and three years and a fine of RWF 50,000 to 500,000.
- Article 187, Penal Code. Sexual Torture. Imposes a penalty of life imprisonment with special provisions for anyone who commits the crime of sexual torture.
- Article 188, Penal Code. Exhibition, Sale or Distribution of Objects of Sexual Nature. States that anyone who exhibits, sells or distributes any writings, symbols, images, songs, emblems or other objects of a sexual nature will be liable to imprisonment for between one and six months’ and/or a fine of between RWF 100,000 and 2m. Offering such objects for transport, trade, export or import for the purpose of selling the goods is punishable by the same penalties. The production of such material renders the offender liable to between one and two years’ imprisonment and/or a penalty of RWF 1m to 5m.
- Article 189, Penal Code. Aggravating Circumstances for Offences Provided Under Articles 183 to 185 of this Organic Law. Doubles the penalties for the above if the accused is a teacher of the victim, has authority over the victim, or if he/she was assisted by one or more persons.
- Article 190, Penal Code. Definition of Child Defilement. Defines child defilement as any sexual intercourse with a child, regardless of form or means used.
- Article 191, Penal Code. Penalty for Child Defilement. Imposes a penalty of life imprisonment for anyone guilty of child defilement.
- Article 192, Penal Code. Child Defilement by a Person Having Authority over the Child. States that where the offender is a representative of the administrative or the religious authority, a security officer, a medical professional, a teacher, a trainee or any person who has abused his/her position or authority over a child, the penalty shall be life imprisonment with special provisions and a fine of RWF 100,000 to 500,000.
- Article 193, Penal Code. Defilement Resulting in Death or Incurable Illness. States that where child defilement results is the death of the child or an infection with an incurable illness, an aggravated sentence of life imprisonment with special provisions and a fine of RWF 500,000 to 1m will apply.
- Article 196, Penal Code. Definition of Rape. Defines rape as causing another person to engage in non-consensual sexual intercourse by using trickery, force or threat.
- Article 201, Penal Code. Penalty for Rape with Intention to Infect Another Person with an Infection. States that anyone who commits rape with the intention to deliberately infect the victim with an incurable disease will be liable to imprisonment for between 20 and 25 years.
- Article 204, Penal Code. Definition of Prostitution. States that prostitution means the involvement by a person in sex work as an occupation in exchange for consideration.
- Article 206, Penal Code. Encouraging, Inciting or Manipulating a Person for the Purpose of Prostitution. Imposes a penalty of between one and three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of RWF 500,000 to 2m for anyone who encourages, incites or manipulates an adult, even with consent, to practice prostitution.
- Article 207, Penal Code. Discouraging Efforts to Rehabilitate Prostitutes. This Article states that anyone who, by threats, pressure, trickery or any other means, discourages efforts to rehabilitate persons engaged in prostitution will be liable to imprisonment for between six months and two years and/or a fine between RWF 500,000 to 1m.
- Article 208, Penal Code. Advertisement for Facilitation of Prostitution. Defines the offense as to announce the facilitation of prostitution by any means. The penalty for this crime is between one and three years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 200,000 to 3m.
- Article 209, Penal Code. Running, Managing or Investing in a Brothel. This Article states that anyone who, directly or through an intermediary, runs, manages or invests in a brothel will be liable to imprisonment for between six months and two years and a fine of between RWF 1m to 3m. If the victim is a child, the penalty will be increased to between five and seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 1m to 5m.
- Article 210, Penal Code. Sharing the Proceeds of Prostitution. States that it is an offense, punishable by imprisonment for between six months and one year, and a fine of between RWF 200,000 to 1m, to knowingly and in any form share the proceeds of the prostitution of others.
- Article 211, Penal Code. Sharing the Proceeds of Prostitution by a Child. States that anyone who knowingly shares the proceeds of the prostitution of a child is liable to imprisonment for between six months and two years and/or a fine of between RWF 500,000 and 2m. The Article also covers the case where a person uses or recruits children in entertainment events to advertise prostitution or demonstrations in pornography, which renders the offender liable to between five and seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 1m and 5m.
- Article 212, Penal Code. Aiding, Abetting and Protecting Prostitution. Defines the offense as to knowingly aid, abet, protect or solicit prostitution, which is punishable with imprisonment for between six months and two years and/or a fine of between RWF 500,000 to 3m.
- **Article 213, Penal Code. Providing Facility for Prostitution. States that it is on offense to knowingly provide any place for rent for the purpose of prostitution, The penalty for this crime is between one and three years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 1m to 3m.
- Article 214, Penal Code. Aggravating Circumstances for Prostitution-related Offences. Doubles the penalties provided for prostitution-related offenses if the offense is committed without consent or against more than one victim, or if the offender is carrying a weapon or is assisted by one or more persons.
- Article 215, Penal Code. Refusal to Report Offences of Immorality Committed Against a Child. States that anyone who becomes aware that any offense under this chapter (Articles 182 to 216) were committed against a child and fails to report them to the authorities will be liable to between three and six months’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 100,000 to 300,000.
- Article 218. Penal Code. Inflicting Severe Suffering on a Child, Harassing or Imposing Severe Punishments on Him/Her. This Article states that anyone who inflicts severe suffering on a child, harasses or imposes severe or degrading punishments on him/her, will be liable to imprisonment for between six months and two years and a fine of between RWF 100,000 to 300,000. If the offense leads to the child’s disability, the sentence will increase to between five and seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 500,000 to 1m. Where the victim dies as a result of the offense, life imprisonment shall apply.
- Article 225, Penal Code. Participating in the Adoption of a Child for the Purpose of Child Trafficking. States that it is a criminal offense to participate in the adoption of a child for the purpose of trafficking. This renders the offender liable to imprisonment for between three and five years and a fine of between RWF 5m to 10m. Where the victim is under the age of fourteen, an increased penalty of between ten and fifteen years’ imprisonment in addition to a fine of between RWF 10m to 20m will apply. Where the child is aged between fourteen and sixteen, the prison term will range between five to seven years and the fine will be between RWF 20m to 30m. If the abducted child is from an orphanage, the maximum penalties shall apply.
- Article 229, Penal Code. Recording and Disseminating a Child’s Pornographic Picture or Voice. This Article states that it is an offense to record or disseminate a picture or the voice of a child in any way for pornographic purposes. A violation of this Article renders the offender liable to between five and seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 5m to 10m.
- Article 230, Penal Code. Advertising of Children Pornographic Pictures. States that it is an offense to display, sell, rent, disseminate or distribute pornographic pictures, objects, movies, photos, slides and other material of a pornographic nature. The offense is punishable with imprisonment for between five and seven years, in addition to a fine of between RWF 5m to 20m.
- Article 250, Penal Code. Definition of Terms. Defines, among other things, child trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring and kidnapping of children for personal interests.
- Article 251, Penal Code. Participating in Trafficking Persons Out of the Country. States that anyone who participates in any way, in trafficking persons out of Rwanda by means of deceit, force, threat or coercion; by taking advantage of the victim’s trouble with authorities, conflict with the law, being an orphan, a destitute or lonely, will be liable to between one and three years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 500,000 to 2m. The penalties will be doubled if the victim is a child.
- Article 259, Penal Code. Penalties for a Person who Engages in Child Trafficking for the Purpose of Prostitution or Indecent Practices. This Article states that anyone who incites, supports or facilitates a child to engage in indecent practices or prostitution shall be liable to between three and five years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 2m to 5m. Involving a child aged twelve or above but under eighteen in prostitution or indecent practices is punishable with imprisonment for between five to seven years and a fine of between RWF 3m to 8m. Where the child is under the age of twelve, the penalty will increase to between seven and ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 5m to 10m.
- Article 260, Penal Code. Penalties for Child Trafficking and Involving Children in Indecent Practices Through Different Ways. States that it is an offense to, personally or through an intermediary, recruit, induce, manipulate or hold a child with intention to involve him/her in indecent practices to satisfy another person’s sexual desire; to open, sell or rent a building intended for indecent practices or prostitution involving children; or to pursue interests by involving a child in any form of indecent practice. An infringement of this Article renders the offender liable to between five and seven years’ imprisonment, plus a fine of between RWF 5m to 10m.
- Article 261, Penal Code. Child Trafficking by Criminal Organizations. States that if the offenses under Article 259 of this law were committed by an organized gang, the penalties will increase to between seven and ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of between RWF 8m to 15m.
- Article 262, Penal Code. Penalties for Members of a Criminal Organization Whose Occupation is to Involve Children in Prostitution. States that where the offense under Article 260 was committed by a criminal organization, the penalties will increase to between seven and ten years’ imprisonment in addition to a fine of between RWF 10m to 15m.
- Article 276, Penal Code. Penalty for Defamation and Harassment of a Person on the Basis of Sex with Intent to Humiliate Him/Her or His/Her Work. Defines the offense as to defame or harass another person on the basis of sex with intent to humiliate the victim or his/her work, which renders the offender liable to imprisonment for between two and six months and/or a fine of between RWF 200,000 to 500,000.
- Article 281, Penal Code. Invasion of Privacy. States that anyone who, in any way, maliciously invades the privacy of another person by taking his/her picture or audio-visual recording without permission is guilty of an offense and liable to imprisonment for between six months and one year and/or a fine of between RWF 1m to 5m.
- Article 282, Penal Code. Publication of Statements or Pictures of a Person Different from the Original. States that anyone who publishes, by any means, an altered version of a person’s statements or photos without explicitly stating that it differs from the original version shall be liable to imprisonment for between six months to one year and/or a fine of between RWF 1m to 5m.
- Article 286, Penal Code. Gathering of Personal Information in Computers. This Article states that anyone who gathers personal information or inserts and uses in computers personal information which is likely to adversely affect the dignity or the privacy of people will be liable to imprisonment for between six months to one year and/or a fine of between RWF 1m to 5m.
- Article 287, Penal Code. Recording and Publishing Personal Information. States that it is an offense to record voices, keep records or use other means to save, in computers, personal information likely to adversely affect the dignity or privacy of people. Anyone found guilty of committing this offense will be liable to imprisonment for between six months and one year and/or a fine of between RWF 1m to 5m. If such information is made known to third parties without the consent of the person, an increased penalty of imprisonment for between six months and one year will apply and/or a fine of between RWF 5m to 10m.
- Article 288, Penal Code. Defamation in Public. This Article states that it is an offense to, maliciously and publicly, commit a specific act against another person likely to damage the honor or dignity of another person, or subject him/her to public contempt. The penalty is imprisonment for between six months and one year and/or a fine of between RWF 1m to 5m.
- Article 289, Penal Code. Public Insult. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for between two and six months and/or a fine of between RWF 500,000 to 3m for anyone who publicly insults another person.
- Article 12, Law No 15/2009, Regulatory Framework Governing the Operations of Internet Cafés in Rwanda. States that states that Internet Café Service Providers (ICSPs) and their customers are prohibited from engaging in activities that compromise the safety of the network for purposes such as the intentional production and dissemination of computer viruses or other destructive programs. It prohibits the download, production, dissemination and other use of prohibited information. ICSPs are also required to display a sign stating that cyber crimes and acts against Rwandan culture are strictly prohibited, whilst ensuring that the computers are connected to the Internet via a local network.
- Article 51, Law No 54/2011, Relating to the Rights and the Protection of the Child. States that all forms of economic exploitation of a child by requiring the victim to accomplish tasks that are likely to harm his/her moral development (among other things), such as child trafficking, pornography business or prostitution is prohibited and punishable by Law.
Actions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Rwanda has acceded, with no declarations or reservations to articles 16, 17(e) and 34 (c), to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to articles 2 and 3, to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
2009 - As part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), One Global Economy (OGE) who helps low income communities use technology to achieve their goals, launched Rwanda Beehive. A search engine that offers information on health, jobs, education, governance, environment, and internet safety. RURA has signed Board Decision No 15 Establishing a Regulatory Framework Governing the Operations of Internet Cafés in Rwanda. The purpose of this decision is to provide a framework that governs the establishment, operations and maintenance of internet cafes and other similar establishments. It prohibits the download, production, dissemination and other use of prohibited information.
2010 - The Cabinet has approved the revised draft of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Bill that provides a comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework that shall allow Rwanda to adapt to the global development of ICT. It will also ensure that the interests of consumers are protected, including cyber security, privacy, and protection from inappropriate content. Furthermore, it will identify responsibilities for policy makers and entities to protect children from inappropriate online content. The bill is going to be tabled before Parliament before it is enacted into law.
2011 - The law N°22/2011 established the National Commission for Children that promotes and ensures child education and develops a national partnership and coordination framework aimed at promoting a child’s rights. It participates in the development of child protection policy, collects and analyzes children’s views to ensure that they are mainstreamed in the development and implementation of policies and programs in favor of the child.
2012 - The Rwandan Government passed law N° 01/2012/OL of 02/05/2012 Organic Law instituting the penal code, which penalizes any person, who displays, sells, rents, disseminates or distributes pornographic pictures, objects, movies, photos, slides and other pornographic materials involving children. A four-day Interpol ‘cybercrime investigation’ course took place in Rwanda. All Interpol Zone V countries participated in the training, which covered various cyber crime investigation areas like social media investigation and how to preserve and report online data.
2015 - Child Online Protection Workshop was hosted by the Rwandan Government in conjunction with with the National Children’s Commission, Facebook, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and MIllicon to discuss useful benchmarks for children’s protection against cyber attacks. Participants agreed to educate children, create a safer and age-appropriate online environment by the ICT service providers, and enact appropriate legislation, ensure law enforcement and help empower all stakeholders in a child’s life.
2016 - Rwanda National Police in partnership with UK based National Crime Agency (NCA) held a two-day workshop under the theme “Protect Children from Abuse; Together we can.” The participants raised awareness that child protection and abuse matters, understanding forms of child abuse, and introduced the UK’s International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) in Rwanda.