Rwandan President Paul Kagame has declared interests on the need of forging partnerships for universal broadband that would lift investments required to bridge the digital divide.
Kagame was Speaking on Monday 22, where he co-chaired the 2021 spring meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, with Mexican billionaire.
The 2021 spring meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development was also attended by Volkan Bozkir, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, among other high-ranked officials.
Kagame noted the tremendous growth of broadband usage during the Covid-19 pandemic season where many countries had imposed restrictions of movement in different parts of the world.
Nevertheless the president also noted of the future shifts to online life contrasting between the digital haves and have-nots is even more blatant.
“This is particularly true for education. With physical classrooms closed, many students have been unable to join virtual classrooms. Some learners have missed an entire year of schooling,” Kagame said,
“At the same time, as children spend more time online, we must redouble efforts to ensure they are kept safe.” He added.
The head of state disclosed that the Broadband Commission’s Covid-19 Agenda for Action focuses on three points: Resilient connectivity, affordable access, and online safety.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was termed by the President Kagame as the key investor in broadband infrastructure.
With so many doubts about the Covid-19 Vaccine Paul Kagame applauded its deployment in Africa positively saying that it will end the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But the road is still long, particularly in developing economies,” he reiterated.
Established in 2010 as a top-level advocacy body promoting broadband as an accelerator of global development, the United Nations’ Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development in 2018 set out seven targets for 2025 to “Connect the Other Half” of the world’s population.
These targets aim to expand broadband infrastructure to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Covid-19 Pandemic brought to a halt many Jobs hence rendering many jobless and with the emergence of the Covid-19 third wave the broadband connectivity is a great promise and dream come true to the world’s poor and underserved populations allowing wide access to services in areas such as finance, commerce, education, health, and governance that can enhance well-being, create new opportunities for innovation and employment, as well as boost economic growth.
Broadband connectivity just like in other developed countries will open up new opportunities for Africa’s digital economy amidst the pandemic.
According to a new report launched March 20 by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on the impact of Covid-19 on e-commerce in Africa it says that the growth of the sector was made possible by improved Internet penetration rates, reduced Internet costs and growth of mobile telephony.
Meanwhile the Rwandan government is seeking to raise Rwf20 billion through a 20-year Treasury bond to among others fund government projects in the post Covid-19 pandemic, according to the central bank.
The bond offer whose coupon will be determined by book building, will be received from March 24 (this Wednesday) and its settlement date set on Friday, March 26.
Last week the central bank on its twitter account said that it will re-open the 20 year Treasury bond tomorrow.
“On 24th March 2021, Rwanda Government through Central Bank will reopen the 20 year Treasury bond (worth Rwf20billion),” the Central bank said in a tweet last week.
The institution noted that the upcoming bond (N° FXD 6/2020/20YRS) was first floated to the public on August 20, 2020, attracting good investors’ appetite with 149.6% per cent subscription level.
Normally the bond reopening is usually done for the purpose of market development; giving investors in the market another investment opportunity but also give the bond a current market price- which is by the market players.
The Central bank also reiterated of the anticipated move that is expected to pave way for bond consolidation and increase liquidity in the secondary market.
“Instead of having so many scattered bonds, bond reopening allows having few bonds but with enough volume which increases the chance of being traded on the secondary market,” a reliable source from BNR told the media.
The Treasury bond sale is under the government’s quarterly issuance programme that started in 2014 to raise money to fund infrastructure projects.
The bond will have 13.150% per annum coupon repayment which will be valid for completion (Redemption Date) until July 27th, 2040.
However, interest will be subject to withholding tax at the rate of 5 per cent for EAC residents and 15 per cent for non-EAC residents.
The allotment process is based on mainly; Retail investors (Domestic) and Institutional investors (domestic and regional).
Investors are expected to visit the National Bank of Rwanda website to access the application forms for the bond application.