Ericsson and Vodafone deploy 5G Core Standalone for precommercial operation in Spain

The 5G Core Standalone solution will enable Vodafone to unlock the full potential of 5G, and represents a critical milestone to deliver 5G Standalone connectivity services in Spain.

Vodafone Spain has selected Ericsson as their technology partner to deploy the first precommercial network 5G Core Standalone (SA) in Spain and will support their entire cloud-native 5G Core for standalone 5G network applications included in this launch. Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core will allow Vodafone to develop and test new use cases leveraging the characteristics of 5G standalone technology, enabling their customers to experience 5G’s full potential.

The simplified SA architecture in RAN and the devices, together with streamlined operations and combined with the new network capabilities from 5G, will bring drastic improvements to mobile networks, including ultra-low latency, improved 5G capacity and greater coverage. The provided dual-mode 5G Core solution which includes products from Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core and Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy portfolios, offers a common multi-access and cloud-native platform that supports 5G and as well as previous generations for optimized footprint and TCO efficiency.

The solution provides full integration and interoperability with current Vodafone’s network. It also provides interworking with Vodafone’s existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Vodafone CDR Repository and Ericsson User Data Consolidation solution, with the aim to provide 4G/5G services interoperability for seamless experience to Vodafone Spain users.

Luisa Muñoz, head of Digital Services, Ericsson Iberia, says: “After many years of outstanding collaboration between the two companies in the different Core technologies now we have moved forward with the introduction of 5G Core and we’re continuing to support Vodafone on their digital journey. With 5G Core SA, we’re taking 5G to the next level in Spain. 5G Core is a fundamental piece of the 5G network and I’m looking forward to seeing the multitude of opportunities this will open up for mobile users and industries.”

Julia Velasco, Network Director, Vodafone Spain,  says: “This pilot is a critical step towards delivering the full potential of 5G service, as well as being crucial in enabling new and innovative use cases. Thanks to our long-standing and close partnership with Ericsson and the 5G Core SA solution, we can support applications requiring the fastest connectivity, highest data rates and lowest latency demand.”

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Ericsson Mobility Report: Sub-Saharan Africa to reach 70 million 5G subscriptions by 2026

  • Discernible volumes of 5G subscriptions are expected from 2022, reaching 7 percent in 2026.
  • By the end of 2026, Sub-Saharan Africa will have around 70 million 5G subscriptions
  • Consumers will have added an average of 3.4 online services to their daily online activities by 2025

Ericsson recently unveiled two reports that, together, forecast the post-pandemic world and the future of 5G in Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world.

The 20th edition of the Ericsson Mobility report (EMR) was recently released with local data that highlight unique trends in each individual market, including Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ericsson projects that 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, driven by an estimated one million new 5G mobile subscriptions every day. The forecast, which features in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, confirms the expectation that 5G will become the fastest adopted mobile generation. 5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone.

The report features breakout statistics from Sub-Saharan African markets where around 15 percent of mobile subscriptions were for 4G at the end of 2020. Mobile broadband subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa are predicted to increase, reaching 76 percent of mobile subscriptions by 2026. However, 5G volumes are not expected to grow in the region for 2021 but are likely to reach around 70 million 5G subscriptions in 2026.

Separately, the Global Telecom Market Report (GTM) also known as “The Future of Urban Reality Report” was also recently launched by the Ericsson ConsumerLab, to assess the penetration of 5G and the tremendous potential it holds to markets around the world.

The latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report is Ericsson’s largest consumer study to date, revealing key insights about what Sub-Saharan African consumers believe will happen beyond the pandemic, into the year 2025, through surveying a sample of 1,000 to 2,000 respondents between the ages of 15–79.

The report found that, when entering the “next normal”, consumers in Africa will have added an average of 3.4 online services to their daily online activities, while also increasing the time they spend online by 10 hours per week by 2025, in comparison to their pre-pandemic habits.

This move is also expected to bridge the gap between moderate and advanced online users, with the more moderate online users having introduced more online services in their daily life over the course of the pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of online education at schools and universities as well as remote working has increased to 87 percent and 63 percent respectively. Going forward online education and remote working are collectively expected to remain at a level of 51 percent.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of online shopping stood at 28 percent out of the total number of all shopping events, both online and at physical stores. During the COVID-19  pandemic, this figure increased to 47 percent. Consumers anticipate their habits around online shopping will remain at a level of 37 percent after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

Todd Ashton, Vice President and Head of Ericsson South and East Africa says: “The recent reports have demonstrated the success of setting #AfricaInMotion. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see continued growth in mobile broadband thanks to the young population, increased coverage, and more affordable smartphones. By 2025, we will be looking at a new normal with online activities becoming more common daily. 4G will become more pervasive and 5G will start to grow. As a result, we will definitely see increased economic growth and an acceleration in Africa’s digital inclusion.

Ericsson has found that despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, service providers continue to switch on 5G, and more than 160 service providers have launched commercial 5G services.  


The Future Urban Reality Report

Ericsson Mobility Report


SHORAWEZE, a Rwandan crowd farming platform

Shoraweze is a Rwandan crowd farming platform that allows members of the Rwandan diaspora around the world to sponsor a farm.

They have selected the best sponsorship opportunities in agribusiness for farmers and sponsors and use that capital to support small scale farmers.

With the sponsor’s capital and Shoraweze’s expertise, small scale farmers are able to generate higher yields from their farming activities.

The founding team behind SHORAWEZE, says: “Premium crops like chia seeds will guaranty reasonable revenues on a long term basis to local small scale farmers. We are committed to provide training and capacity building to the communities and improve the image of agriculture in general.”

The SHORAWEZE platform connects small scale farmers with investors allowing them to access affordable capital.

According to the founders:” With organic chia seeds, the sponsor makes a pledge of 1800$ per 1 hectare of land so we can farm for him. We sort, clean and sell the produce after harvest.  Once it’s sold we give them a % of their initial sponsorship amount plus the upfront they paid at the beginning of the season. A farming cycle of chia is 3 months and the payout is every 4 months, so 2-3 times a year in total depending on the availability of the land. “

The innovative business model involves diaspora communities willing to support agribusiness in Rwanda.

Who is eligible?

SHORAWEZE.COM is open to any farmer looking into scaling up his production and learning new Agri-tech solutions.

Diaspora organizations and Rwandan leaving abroad are invited to enter the program through the organization’s website or email or call +250 789 976 500.

For more details about the competition, visit



Rwanda: Ericsson Country Manager explains company’s role in helping Women in ICT

Jacques Kabandana, Country Manager of Ericsson Rwanda is explaining the company’s role in helping Women to achieve their ICT ambitions.

Ericsson has committed a major role to develop female STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) leaders, in support of gender diversity in the workplace. For example, Ericsson is helping the Girl Scouts in the U.S. meet their pledge to put 2.5 million girls in to progressive STEM pipeline by 2025.

  • How has Ericson been involved in this agenda, which is in line with the SDGs 4, 5, 9 and 17 in the Africa region?
  • Give us a picture of How Ericsson has been involved in bridging the gender gap in ICTs

The Ericsson Graduate Program in Africa aims to grow the technical skills of graduates, train them in the Ericsson technology, solutions and their delivery and understanding our processes, methods, and tools. The Graduate Program helps Ericsson to move the needle on gender equality within the field of technology as half of the graduates hired are women.

Inspiring young girls and women to enter in STEM subjects requires role models and motivational education. To that end, we partnered with Technovation for the 2021 challenge. Technovation Girls equips young women (ages 10-18) to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. With the support of volunteer mentors, girls work in teams to code mobile apps that address real-world problems.

To further demonstrate this commitment, we also created our Connect to Learn program, a global education initiative launched in partnership with like-minded organizations. The global initiative Connect To Learn is tackling access to education head-on. Without quality education, young people have diminished opportunities and are more vulnerable to poor health, early and forced marriage and other forms of violence. Girls in particular have a much greater chance of improving their quality of life through education, with a World Bank study recently showing that every year in secondary school correlates with an 18 percent increase in a girl’s future earning power.Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 aims to ensure inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Connect to Learn supports this ambition by using technology to give those most in need access to quality education. We believe improving educational opportunities is also vital for achieving other sustainable development goals, such as gender equality.

  • What does this STEM agenda mean to Ericsson?

As digital infrastructure and transaction become increasingly impactful to the development of the African societies and economies, affordable broadband access will need to be extended to over a billion individuals to bridge the digital divide and enable them to reap the benefits of the digital economy. Connectivity plays a key role in powering Africa’s digital future and in achieving a positive impact on people’s lives. And as we progress towards faster and technically superior times – the era of 5G – it is only right that leaders, men and women, of the ICT sector inspire and engage more and more young girls and women to take up STEM studies as a career opportunity, raising awareness for a better tomorrow. Having many more young girls/women join ICT as a career is important not only because diverse and inclusive teams lead to better working environment but also because it has a huge impact on our productivity.   It is imperative that young women are engaged and motivated to stay the course with STEM subjects. That means breaking the barriers to entry and showcasing the impact they can have on an industry like Information and Communications Technology.

We believe that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is the catalyst for digital transformation, with mobile networks being the crucial ingredient in increasing Africa’s economic competitiveness in the global arena. While we have witnessed impressive market developments in recent years, Africa’s ICT sector still has growth potential compared to leading economies. The future of STEM studies as a career choice is truly exciting as many ICT students today will work in jobs that don’t exist yet!

  • Which area in the STEM agenda has Ericson put focus so as to develop in the region?
  • What has been the impact or progress made by Ericsson in promoting this agenda

Technology has the incredible potential to secure the wellbeing of developing economies by transforming education and health services. With education being key to true and sustainable change, Ericsson partnered with UNICEF to help identify connectivity gaps and eliminate the digital divide. Mapping the connectivity landscape is a critical first step towards connecting every school to the internet and providing each child with access to learning opportunities. Through our expertise in ICT we will help to provide an understanding of where connectivity is needed the most; utilizing data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate school connectivity mapping. We will help develop a solution that supports the Giga initiative through the collection, validation, analysis, monitoring and visualization of real-time school connectivity data. The visualization helps governments and the private sector design and deploy digital interventions to support learning for children and young people. The more we’re able to support with digital interventions, the better are young children equipped to tackle a future in STEM.

  • Now that it is clear women have been seriously affected by COVID-19, what plans does Ericsson have in ensuring they regain the progress in integrating gender in ICT- that was attained before COVID-19?

Ericsson has been working to empower women within the industry for over 140 years. We believe gender equality and empowerment is at the heart of our success story, as women have strongly contributed to the company’s successes. But across the wider technology sector, one of the main issues facing companies is that there remains a limited amount of talent within STEM subjects, in which the proportion of women continues to be disproportionately low. A further challenge that many companies face when it comes to gender issues in the workplace is unconscious bias, which may take place unintentionally but has a potentially damaging effect on operations and performances. Globally at Ericsson we are actively de-biasing processes to ensure people processes are as equitable as possible. In an era where data is readily available organizations can study where there are identifiably prone areas of the recruitment and people processes, which allows companies to standardize these processes transparently and make fact-based decisions.

There are huge business benefits to having women in leadership and C-suite positions. For example, an EY study of the top 200 utilities in the world found that companies with high levels of gender equality on their boards had higher returns on investments. In fact, the top 20 most diverse utilities significantly outperformed the bottom 20 – a difference that could be in the millions of dollars or more.A separate study of Fortune 500 companies conducted by Catalyst found that organizations with high levels of gender equality in management positions had 35% better return on equity than firms that hadn’t taken similar steps.

On a broader, macro level, gender parity in labor markets would mean an additional $12 to $28 trillion added to global GDP. To put that in perspective, that’s approximately the value of the American and Chinese economies of today – combined.

Part of achieving more of this will mean nurturing young female talents from an early age, encouraging them to take additional responsibilities and empowering them with the skills they need to succeed. And Ericsson has been working hard to tackle this across the globe and have been a longtime supporter of the ITU-D’s Girls in ICT Day, which aims to create a positive global environment which empowers and encourages young women to choose a field in ICT.It is crucial we continue to run our flagship programs such as Connect To Learnwhich I mentioned earlier, which is a concrete way through which we are supporting the education of women and girls. We strongly encourage girls to study STEM subjects that will prepare them for employment in the ICT sector. Ensuring inclusivity and diversity means practicing these values throughout the consciousness of an organization and we’re proud at Ericsson that throughout the pandemic we have encouraged and supported co-parenting requirements through a range of programs and flexibility. For example, we have programs focused on mental health and work life balance that ensures all genders can cover their personal and professional responsibilities with ease.

We believe we have achieved social awareness and have progressed towards gender equality, however, in terms of achieving the sustainable development goal, we all need to work together to make this a reality for everyone.

  • What are some of the best practices that Ericsson is looking at or committed to promoting that can be replicated in the African region?
  • We have had an ambition to reach 30% female representation across all levels in the company, including our executive leaders, by 2020. We’ve been working hard to ensure that we consider and create diversity and inclusion in everything we do, building teams that reflect our approach. We encourage programs that include a wide variety of people, like mentoring circles and advisory boards
  • We also work with communities to educate young girls about our industry and encourage them to pursue roles within it; Connect to Learnis one of the concrete ways that we are working to support the education of women and girls. We strongly encourage girls to study STEM subjects that will prepare them for employment in the ICT sector. Gender diversity is important for us not only for business reasons but also because we know that jobs in the ICT sector have significant potential to help in the achievement of the gender equality element outlined in the sustainable development goals.
  • We’re also working to address unconscious bias. We have been working on new experiments based on behavioral science in several of our people processes like hiring, performance and succession management. All in effort to mitigate the risk of unconscious bias seeping into decisions of our employee lifecycle. To date two experiments have started with another three planned to kick off.


Rwanda-France: The science diplomatie

Rwanda’s diplomatic delegates in France visit Ircad France whose Africa branch established in Kigali

The delegation, from the Embassy of Rwanda in France, consists of the Ambassador Dr. Francois Ngarambe, second counselor Ornella KAZE, was received by Prof. Jacques Marescaux, Ircad Founder, during a working visit to the Research Institute against Digestive Cancer (Ircad France) whose first antenna of Africa will be launched in Rwanda in this year 2021.

The visit of the Rwandan delegation strengthens the good relations between Rwanda and international organizations such as Ircad France.

Ambassador Dr Francois Ngarambe, second counselor Ornella KAZE, was received by Prof. Jacques Marescaux, Ircad Founder (Photo Credit @RwandaInFrance).

During the recent webinar that focused on advancing minimally invasive surgery in Africa organized by IRCAD France in partnership with IRCAD Africa, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was commended for his contribution to the establishment of the IRCAD Africa and acknowledged that being a member of the IRCAD is an added strength to those who are involved in promoting the use of medical technology, especially in surgery.

IRCAD (Institut de Recherche contre les Cancers de l’Appareil Digestif-Research Institute against Digestive Cancer) was founded in 1994 in Strasbourg, France by Prof. Jacques Marescaux, a surgeon fascinated by technology. IRCAD has since become a world leader in advancing and teaching minimally invasive surgery.

IRCAD’s main focus has always been to develop less invasive surgery techniques through research led by the IRCAD research and development team in collaboration with IRCAD surgeons and share those techniques at an international level via training courses.

It has already established an office in Kigali, IRCAD Africa which awaits the official inauguration this year, according to official.

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Centre Mémorial GISIMBA ou le parcours d’une famille combattante

Par Jabo Jean Marie

Nous vous proposons un rendez-vous en trois parties qui couvrent la fabuleuse histoire du Mémorial Gisimba. Fondé par une famille bienveillante et transmis sur trois générations, le centre a su se reinventer, d’orphelinat à refuge, de refuge en dortoir, de dortoir en établissement scolaire. Aujourd’hui il joue un role pivot dans la vie des habitants du quartier populaire qui l’entoure: Nyamirambo. Le journaliste de renom, Jabo Jean Marie, parcour ces décennies passées à donner de l’espoir et à soigner les âmes.

L’histoire du Centre Memorial Gisimba commence timidement et modestement avec les grands parents vers les années 1952 ; GISIMBA Melchior et son épouse dédient leur vie aux orphelins. Ils ne savaient pas que leur légende allait se transmettre de génération en génération.

En 1979, GISIMBA  Chrysologue rentre de la RD Congo  (Ex Zaïre) où il s’était exilés avec sa famille et reçoit dans des conditions très modestes des enfants orphelins sous son toit ; en quelques années seulement  la roue tourne il nourrit et héberge à part son épouse et leurs trois fils, neufs enfants orphelins.

En famille nombreuse, ils essaient d’avancer chaque jour  tant bien que mal en comptant sur la providence de Dieu.

En 1981 quelques organisations commencent à aider de façon  non régulière notamment  Caritas et CRS (Catholic Relief Service) ou Monsieur Gisimba Chrysologue travaillait.

L’Année suivante est pleine d’espoir pour la famille, l’Etat leur donne une parcelle pour construire un centre et c’est un grand soulagement !

Le tout petit premier bâtiment voit le jour en 1984 mais hélas deux ans plus tard les parents meurent et ne verront jamais la personnalité juridique de l’association octroyée  en 1987.

De 1987 à 1993, le centre s’agrandit et commence à prendre forme d’une petite institution avec 65 orphelins et un encadrement plus ou moins organisé.

En  1994, le petit centre, non clôturé et sans aucune protection spéciale a pu sauver 398 personnes en danger au cours du Génocide des Tutsi dont des enfants, des adolescents et des adultes.

Gisimba Damas, qui venait de se marier et qui avait un bébé de quelques mois au grand risque de mourir  en premier; n’a rien ménagé pour sauver toutes ces personnes.

Le flambeau de la bravoure, de l’humilité et de l’amour de l’autre porté par Gisimba Melchior transmis à Gisimba Chrysologue toujours fraternellement soulevé est entre les mains de Gisimba Damas ,période sombre soit elle ,le petit centre  parvint à sauver beaucoup de personnes .

Nous sommes dans les années1996-1997 , parmi  ceux qui ont fui le pays après le génocide contre les Tutsi de 1994 , des milliers rentrent en masse en provenance surtout de la RD Congo , beaucoup d’enfants avaient perdus leurs parents de vue dans la fuite de 1994 pour différentes raisons , dans ces moments troubles le centre  avec à sa tête Gisimba Damas a fait montre d’un esprit humanitaire de résilience en accueillant ces enfants en détresse et qui étaient considérés à cette époque comme les enfants des génocidaires mais Gisimba Damas créa  au sein de ce centre un esprit de cohabitation , germe de réconciliation jusqu’aujourd’hui  entre ces  derniers et ceux trouvés sur place majoritairement victimes et rescapés du génocide.

Damas Gisimba interviewé par Jabo Jean Marie au Mémorial Gisimba, avril 2021.

En 2004, Damas Gisima est lauréat du prix Prix Paul Gruninger (Suisse), il reçoit la Médaille d’Honneur du président de la République Rwandaise pour la bravoure contre le Génocide en 2007 et reçois la distinction honorifique de Gardien de l’Unité Nationale (Umulinzi w’Igihango ku rwego rw’igihugu) en 2014.


How Ericsson uses Artificial Intelligence to simplify operations and speed up services

We often hear the word Artificial Intelligence(AI), but also for many who are not very familiar with the technology they rarely understand it while it is important to understand its meaning and its importance in the economic and technological development in today’s world. Todd Ashton, Head of Ericsson South and East Africa is telling us more more about AI and below are excerpts of the Interview : 

Q1. What is AI for Ericsson? 

As a multinational networking and telecommunications company, Artificial Intelligence is a vital skill domain and technology for creating business value in terms of improved performance, higher efficiency, enhanced customer experience as well as creating new business models and use cases for 5G, IoT and enterprises across Africa.

With 5G now a commercial reality, the ability to effectively collect, analyze and autonomously act on real-time data will be an accelerator towards making the digital economy a reality and it will help us create new jobs focusing on more advanced skill sets.

From Ericsson’s perspective and our own implementation of the technology, AI adoption is essential to efficient network management and operations. AI and automation will help address the complexity of 5G networks, drive efficiencies and improve customer experience as well as open new revenue streams for communications service providers (CSPs).

Q2. Why AI is important in our lives?

From both an economic and consumer perspective, AI will revolutionize our lives. In business, across industries, AI is being used in all manner of ways to improve productivity, increase operational efficiencies, and deliver outstanding customer experience.

From a consumer perspective, media streaming platforms such as Spotify and Netflix demonstrate AI in action, as the algorithms analyse user behaviour, and that of people with similar behaviour, to recommend new TV shows, films, and music. But these examples solve simple use cases with simple AI algorithms.

What AI is doing in more complex industries, with more complex challenges is solving and providing use cases where much more economic value is at stake. For example, in the communications sector, connecting everyone, connecting everything, everywhere, at any time, on demand, is an enormously complex task, with equally complex infrastructure and technology. AI helps to solve the challenges along the way, but it doesn’t do so with one broad, general brush.

At Ericsson, we have been working with AI for more than a decade and take a different approach from many others. We develop AI to solve the right problems: the right problems for our customers, and not problems outside of those. We are embedding AI deeply throughout our portfolio and services specific to use cases that can scale to all our customers.

Q3. What projections for the five coming years that one can expect in the use of AI in Rwanda and East Africa?

Digital transformation and innovation are essential solutions to propel Africa towards the future. Connectivity will power Africa’s digital future and in achieving a positive impact on people’s lives. However, smarter, AI fuelled networks will accelerate Africa’s digital agenda, and drive the progress and prospects of 5G in Africa. We see AI as a way to address some of the logistical challenges faced in our business which have been made more obvious during the ongoing crisis related to COVID-19. Ultimately, AI and automation will inevitably create value across the lifecycle of network operations in East Africa.

The unprecedented events of 2020 have brought into focus the critical role that digital infrastructure plays in the functioning of almost every aspect of contemporary society. Africa is home to over a billion people and the population is expected to grow in the coming years. It is also a continent with the most growing economies. ICT is essential for Africa’s development and adequate ICT service deployment and digital connectivity will play a crucial role in achieving economic sustainability in the continent.

The government of Rwanda’s National Artificial Intelligence Policy is a significant step in its aims to harness AI, digital and emerging technologies to support the country’s development goals including sustainable and inclusive growth, become an ICT and Innovation Hub, and position Rwanda as a leader on the African and global stage. We will continue to partner closely with the nation to help develop valuable use cases for AI across the nation in its vision for a sustainable economy.

 Q4: How Ericsson Company is contributing to the development of AI in Rwanda and in this region?

Rwanda’s Information Communications and Technology landscape has significantly evolved over the last few years. Ericsson’s role as a trusted advisor to Rwanda will see the deployment of services such as e-health, e-education, e-government, smart utilities and cybersecurity protection, all propelled by AI to fully leverage the infrastructure investment and empower people to reach their full potential. Our vision of a Networked Society in Africa is being actualized through this and we are happy to be able to support Rwanda on this exciting journey.

Our long-term partnership with Rwanda has previously involved focusing on building capacity and skills in the country that could be handed over to the government along with selected private sector players. Based on the leading role that Rwanda plays in the Smart Africa Alliance, this collaboration will establish a public private partnership model that can benefit other members of the alliance.

Q.5 In the time of the pandemic, Ericsson has been on the forefront in responding to the needs of people in terms of access to speed communication.  What lesson one can get from the experience of the pandemic vis-a -vis speeding of information delivery?

If there’s one thing the pandemic has demonstrated, it’s the value of staying connected.  We see connectivity as a basic human right. The collaboration with telecommunications service providers was key to developing the connectivity solutions we are relying on more than ever today, and it will be key for enabling future innovation to bring us even closer together. ICT standardization efforts are at the heart of creating network solutions that can keep our society running, even under pressure. Safeguarding and strengthening our key digital infrastructures – as well as enabling the continuous development of the underlying technology – will also be crucial as Africa emerges from the crisis – and has the potential to propel Africa into a steep and sustainable growth cycle.

6. How far is Ericsson in deploying 5G Infrastructures in Africa? Can you tell us about the same case in East African Region?

Ericsson is progressing with 5G infrastructure in Africa. Ericsson 5G is now commercially live with MTN in South African cities as of July 2020. Additionally, Telma Madagascar has switched on its 5G commercial network powered by Ericsson. The 5G network is now live in multiple cities in Madagascar.

We are committed to evolving network infrastructure in East Africa, and to that end Airtel Africa agreed to expand its strategic partnership with Ericsson to enable 4G coverage in Kenya. With Ericsson’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and packet core products for 4G, Airtel subscribers will experience enhanced quality of voice and data.  Nearly all radio equipment we have been installing since mid-2016 is upgradeable to 5G, so when the business case makes sense and the regulators allow, we will be able to support our customers in launching 5G across the region.

The network modernization deal, signed in August 2020, is in line with the ‘Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030’ which aims to provide robust connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms.

We look forward to further agreements to enhance networks across East Africa.

7 Ericsson and Airtel have recently entered into partnership with Airtel Telecommunication. What fruits are you so far harvesting from the partnership and briefly let us know the components of the partnership?

The modernization deal with our long term partner Airtel will simplify and upgrade the existing network while futureproofing it for the anticipated and rapid expansion of mobile connectivity in the country.


RwandAir pivot du changement du pôle économique en Afrique de l’Est

Dans un proche avenir, RwandAir, la compagnie aérienne nationale rwandaise pourrait faire de Kigali le nouveau hub d’affaire en Afrique de l’Est. Cela fait suite à une stratégie d’expansion ambitieuse depuis le début de ses opérations en 2003 ou elle multiplie les destinations, 29 au total en 2021, et la facilitation des connectivités directes en Afrique de l’Est, en Afrique Centrale, en Afrique Australe et de l’Ouest, en Asie au Moyen Orient et en Europe. La compagnie bénéficiera d’un énorme coup de pouce en ajoutant New York et donc l’Amérique du Nord à s a carte d’itinéraire comme prévu en décembre 2021. Selon Michael Joseph, président du conseil d’administration de Kenya Airways (KQ), « vous constatez que le gouvernement du Rwanda est derrière RwandAir à 100%, le président Paul Kagame est pleinement impliqué et la compagnie est fortement subventionné par le gouvernement ; elle a conclu un accord avec Qatar, (devenue actionnaire de RwandaAir à 49% et propriétaire a 60% du nouvel aéroport de Bugesera a 45 kilomètres de Kigali ndlr). » Cette semaine également, alors qu’il était invité dans l’émission JKLive sur Citizen TV, M. Michael Joseph a de nouveau déclaré: «j’ai entendu dire que Qatar Airlines va transferer 60 avions de Qatar à RwandAir «En fait, aujourd’hui je parlais à un membre du Parlement et je disais que si nous ne faisons pas attention, le centre d’affaires pour l’Afrique,…, va déménager de Nairobi à Kigali.». Il a continué à souligner que les entreprises déménageront à Kigali en raison de la connectivité. «Les entreprises sont susceptibles de déménager dans des endroits où la connectivité est facile. » a déclaré Michael Joseph. Il est revenu sur divers problèmes affectant Kenya Airways, notamment une perte de plus de 30 milliards de shillings, principalement due à l’épidémie de 19 COVID. Cependant, Michael Joseph, dont les implications dans le réseau mobile Safaricom et dans la compagnie aérienne kenyane (KQ) et le réseau mobile Safaricom sont énormes, a noté qu’en général, presque toutes les compagnies aériennes dans le monde ont subi la perte causée par COVID 19, ajoutant qu’une fois l’épidémie terminée, il y aura une reprise économique dans l’industrie du transport aérien. «Kenya Airways doit non seulement survivre, mais nous devons également nous assurer de créer les conditions propices pour que Nairobi devienne le centre d’affaires de l’Afrique.» Outre le fait que les experts estiment que RwandAir peut participer a l’établissement d’un centre d’affaire régional au Rwanda, RwandAir est devenue cette semaine la première compagnie aérienne africaine à vacciner tout son personnel contre Covid-19, ce qui positionne le transporteur comme l’un des plus sûrs du continent. Selon Yvonne Manzi Makolo, PDG de RwandAir, «Le déploiement rapide par le Rwanda du premier lot de vaccins à arriver dans le pays a donné la priorité à tous les travailleurs de première ligne, y compris le personnel naviguant. Le programme de vaccination a été conçu pour garantir que nous fournissons un environnement sûr et sécurisé aux voyageurs, à la fois dans l’air et au sol. » En plus du personnel et de l’équipage de RwandAir, le personnel des autres compagnies aériennes opérant à l’aéroport international de Kigali a également reçu les vaccins contre le Covid-19.

Le Français au Rwanda : une opportunité d’ouverture sur le monde

Au Rwanda, les jeunes francophones ont été encouragés à profiter des opportunités de la langue française pour ouvrir les frontières et collaborer avec leurs pairs qui l’utilisent en Afrique et en Europe.

Cela a été mis en évidence lors de trois débats organisés par l’hôtel Cleo Kivu pour revoir l’enseignement du Français au Rwanda et ce qui fait pour l’améliorer a travers la culture et à la technologie.

“A Canal Plus, nous avons un bouquet de plus de 190 chaînes, toutes en français, y compris les films d’actualités »  a déclaré Sophie Tchatchoua, PDG de Canal Plus Rwanda,.

“Cela permettra aux téléspectateurs de continuer à améliorer leurs compétences linguistiques ; nous voulons qu’ils parlent le français comme ils parlent le kinyarwanda et qu’ils puissent bénéficier de la présence  de partenaires locaux comme Canal Olympia dans le théâtre et le cinéma.”

L’actrice et directrice du Ishyo Arts Center, Carole Karemera, a quand a elle, déclaré que l’apprentissage du français par l’art avait aidé les enfants ; elle conseille les  artistes à faire plus d’efforts de créativité grâce à la technologie.

«Même les enfants avaient des difficultés, mais progressivement, cela est venu à travers des livres comme Bakame, des poèmes et des films qui enseignent… J’encourage les artistes à s’unir et a embrasser la technologie moderne. Il y a des projets que nous avons lancés, comme KESHO, qui les aideront à produire une variété d’œuvres d’art en français”.

La directrice de Led Solutions & Green Energy, Sekamana Thérèse, conseil les jeunes à s’ouvrir sur le monde francophones d’Afrique pour voir les opportunités qui s’offrent à eux.

“Maintenir la culture française, c ;’est ce dont les jeunes ont besoin », a-t-elle déclaré. “Avec le lancement du Marché commun africain-Zone de Libre Echange Continentale Africaine (ZLECA) ndlr, il est nécessaire de disposer du même passeport africain, les jeunes ne doivent pas aller loin pour trouver des opportunités, ils peuvent même commencer par leur voisin direct tel la RD Congo”.

Pour Rica Rwigamba, directrice de la Fondation Mastercard au Rwanda : « Les portes sont ouvertes partout dans le monde et encouragent les jeunes à apprendre des autres pays. Soyez curieux, et saisissez les opportunités croissantes sans oublier d’utiliser les technologies, et parlez couramment le français qui est parlé par plus de 300 millions de personnes”, a-t-elle déclaré.

«Nous avons l’opportunité d’ouvrir un marché public et de mettre les produits à la disposition des jeunes. Il y a des marchés dans de nombreux pays que personne ne voit dans leur propre pays, la technologie les a résolus, vous avez vu que même au moment de la pandémie de Covid-19, le travail est toujours en cours. Jeunes, ouvrez vos portes et vous aurez l’opportunité d’étudier gratuitement dans les universités dans le monde entier et vous aurez l’opportunité d’interagir avec vos pairs.» a ajouté Rica Rwigamba

Les débats ont réuni neuf femmes’ leaders de diverses institutions: Rica Rwigamba Mastercard Foundation, Marie Pierre Ngoma APEFE, Thérèse Sekamana Led Solutions & Green Enenregy , Iris Irumva ITM Africa, Nicole Bamukunde Vatel, Lydie Hakizimana AIMS, Dr Carmen Nibigira Tourism Expert, Sophie Tchatchoua Canal Plus Rwanda, Carole Karemera Ishyo Art Center et Aime Umutoni Canal Olympia


Inclusion du français dans les langues officielles de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est : une décision à saluer à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la francophonie.

Le Ministre rwandais des affaires étrangères, Dr. Vincent Biruta, a salué la décision du 21e Sommet ordinaire des chefs d’État de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est de faire du français l’une de ses langues officielles.

Biruta a fait le constat à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la francophonie, célébrée le 20 mars, 2021, sous le thème «Femmes francophones, femmes résilientes».

“Cela contribuera à accélérer l’intégration régionale”, a-t-il déclaré à travers un message sur Twitter en exprimant son approbation de la décision.

 Le 21e Sommet ordinaire des chefs d’État de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est a notamment examiné un rapport sur l’état de la mise en œuvre de sa directive pour entreprendre une étude sur les modalités d’inclusion du français comme langue de la Communauté, en plus de l’anglais et du kiswahili.

Le sommet, qui s’est tenu par vidéoconférence le 27 février 2021, a adopté le français comme l’une des langues officielles de la communauté avec l’anglais et le kiswahili et a demandé au conseil d’accélérer les modalités de mise en œuvre de la directive.

En outre, le sommet a examiné une demande d’adhésion de la RD Congo à la communauté d’Afrique de l’Est et a demandé au conseil d’entreprendre rapidement une mission de vérification.

La communauté abrite 177 millions de citoyens, dont plus de 22% sont de la population urbaine.

Jusqu’à présent, les pays connus pour avoir des citoyens qui parlent largement le français dans la région sont le Burundi, le Rwanda et la RD Congo, membre potentiel de la CAE.

On estime à 300 millions le nombre de francophones dans les 88 États et gouvernements de l’Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF), répartis sur les cinq continents.

La Francophonie est un dispositif institutionnel dédié à la promotion du français et à la mise en œuvre de la coopération politique, éducative, économique et culturelle au sein des 88 États et gouvernements de l’OIF.

Par ailleurs, Vincent Biruta a réitéré «le plein soutien du Rwanda à l’OIF dans sa mission d’incarner une francophonie d’action, portée par le numérique, l’égalité du genre et la jeunesse».

En outre, le Parlement rwandais a organisé un événement virtuel pour célébrer la Journée internationale de la Francophonie.

La présidente de la Chambre des députés, Donatille Mukabalisa, a déclaré que le parlement s’est associé au reste des pays du monde francophone pour célébrer les valeurs qui les unissent en tant que communauté.

Elle a souligné que parmi les valeurs de la Francophonie, il y a la diversité culturelle et linguistique.