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The actual reality of the digital divide in Rwanda

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Are you familiar with the term ‘digital divide’? It’s a term that describes the gap between people who have access to technology and those who don’t. Unfortunately, this gap exists in Rwanda, and it’s affecting our communities in significant ways.

However, the digital divide can also be attributed to the fact that people are not using the technology and tools available to them. For example, Yegomoto, is a motorcycle taxi service company bringing transparency and fairness to the motorcyclists through a software named ‘mubazi’. Mubazi is a yegomoto meter given to a motorbike, and calculates the fare based on the distance traveled and time taken.

Murenzi Aime Pacifique, a motorcyclist in Kigali city, says he sees the smart meter know as the ‘mubazi’ as a great tool to use for motorcyclists as it sets a fixed price for the clients.

He says “The good thing about mubazi is that it sets a fixed price, the client doesn’t bargain for a lesser price which is a profitable thing for us.” Murenzi acknowledges that this tool provided by Yegomoto is a great tool, as it is efficient and time saving.

But you may wonder, why is this device not being used by motorcyclists? These devices of mubazi have been made optional, and when one moto cyclists doesn’t use the device, the rest don’t also use the device.

Murenzi says “We all have the devices on us, but because most motors don’t use it, I can’t use it as well because If a client had to choose between a motor with the device and the one without the device, they would choose the one without the device, because it is cheaper. So I would rather not use the device than gain fewer clients.”

It is clear that most of these motorcyclists are not using these devices because it is still an option. In a conversation with another motorcyclist, he pointed out that If the rules were strictly on using these devices, they would use them without complaint. He said, “If there were rules, we would abide by them completely, but because it is still optional to have the mubazi, people will not use them.”

The situation with Yegomoto’s smart meter device highlights the complex reality of the digital divide in Rwanda. On one hand, there are technological solutions available that can greatly benefit the population, but on the other hand, the lack of widespread adoption hinders their effectiveness.

It’s important to note that the digital divide is not just about access to technology, but also about the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively use it. In the case of the smart meter device, it’s clear that there is a need for more education and awareness campaigns to encourage motorcyclists to use it.

In order to bridge this divide, there is a need for more education and awareness campaigns to encourage motorcyclists to use the mubazi device. Some motorcyclists even suggested that if there were strict rules in place mandating the use of the device, they would comply without complaint.

There are countless of other technologies that many have not started to use which can be quite beneficial in the wrong run. By understanding the advantages of smart meters compared to standard practises, Motocylists coulbe be one step closer to discovering how adopting new technology can benefit your utility.

The digital divide in Rwanda is a significant issue that affects our communities in various ways. While access to technology is essential, it’s equally important to encourage the use and adoption of available technology to fully participate in the digital era we are moving towards.

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