KIGALI, RWANDA - A new youth-led initiative in Rwanda will transform the lives of 5 million citizens by bringing them online and providing digital skills training in their communities through the newly announced Digital Ambassador Program (DAP).
DOT's Founder and CEO, Janet Longmore, speaking at the ceremony
In partnership with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Internet for All Northern Corridor initiative, Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and Information Communication Technology (MYICT) will be spearheading a push to train youth to provide internet access, digital skills training, and to create jobs across the country.
Based on DOT’s youth-led development model, DAP will train 5,000 young Rwandans as Digital Ambassadors who will offer digital skills training to 5 million Rwandans so they can access online opportunities and e-government services.
“Digital Ambassadors will receive the digital, leadership and training skills they need to respond to the unique needs and challenges of their communities,” said Janet Longmore, founder and CEO of DOT. “DAP is an innovative and youth-led approach to economic development and digital inclusion – we are inspired by the commitment our network of partners in Rwanda to making this a highly impactful initiative that will create new opportunities and transform communities.”
Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT, addressing delegates in Kigali at the ceremony to unveil DAP
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, the Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, shared, “The Digital Ambassador Program is a great initiative to achieve Rwanda's Digital Talent Policy objectives. We strongly believe that digital literacy combined with internet access for all will accelerate Rwanda's digital transformation toward a Smart Nation. The Government of Rwanda would like to thank all partners of the DAP and extends an invitation for others to join. This is an important step in a long journey of building a Smart Africa.’’
The WEF Internet for All initiative aims to create millions of internet users in the Northern Corridor of Africa, with an objective of adding 25 million new internet users to the region by 2019.
Alex Wong, WEF Internet for All steering committee member, said, "The Rwanda Digital Ambassador Program is an example of the innovation and collaboration between government, civil society, and other key stakeholders that will mark a significant step forward to achieving our project goals and, more importantly, position Rwanda with the ICT and internet skills, awareness, and content necessary to embrace and benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We congratulate Minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana and Janet Longmore for their leadership in launching this important program."
DAP partners will collaborate based on core principles that respect and respond to the needs of local Rwandans, empower young women and men to become digital champions in their communities, and meet the unique needs of Rwandan women and girls.
DAP was unveiled today at an event in Kigali that gathered partners from across the private and civil sectors to plan the initiative’s launch in Rwanda.
The Ministry of Youth and ICT seeks to address 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.The Ministry aims to accelerate socio-economic development, improving productivity of the private sector and developing the growth of ICT in Rwanda.
Internet for All will create tens of millions of new Internet users across three regional initiatives (Northern Corridor in Africa, Argentina, India) within three years through the development of new and innovative collaboration models. Internet for All will deliver a global digital and social platform where leaders from government, donors, the private sector, and civil society can collaborate to scale and replicate Internet inclusion activities.