Burundi said to have taken a leap in the ICTs sector in EAC.

The Burundi Minister of Youth, Posts, and Technologies of the information, Ms. Evelyne Butoyi, praised the step taken by Burundi in terms of the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that makes it take the lead on the list of countries of the East African Community.

She delivered this statement during a workshop organized on the 7th December 2018 by her ministry in
collaboration with the universal service Fund (FSU) on the state of places of ICT and the launch of telecenters pilot project at the Tropitel Hotel in Gitega (central Burundi).

The secretary of the FSU and Director General of the Agency of regulation and control of
Telecommunications (ARCT), M. Donatien Manirampa, substantiated these by a study he conducted,
explaining that all provinces of the country are interconnected through an optical fiber with a length of more than 8000 km.

Four economic operators are evolving in the field of mobile telephones in Burundi, Manirampa added, citing the companies Econet Leo, Spacetel(Smart Burundi), Onatel and Vietel (Lumitel), which he said are of paramount importance for the country.

They occupy the 2nd place among taxpayers and make a substantial contribution to improving the living conditions of the population, he stressed.

However, he has raised some challenges in the ICT sector in Burundi, including the obsolete law on the ICT field, the slow pace of ICT implementation, the energy deficit for ensuring the supply of infrastructures deployed in rural areas, as well as the inaccessibility of ICTs in rural and remote areas.

Workshop participants made recommendations to address these challenges. They recommended
the State to update the legal and regulatory framework of the ICT sector, including the Code of
electronic communications and posts.

Economic operators are called upon to open up the most remote areas of the country, to ensure the connectivity of centers housing people living with disabilities and others with specific needs, to establish connectivity in schools, hospitals, and other public institutions.

They further recommended that the FSU television shows to be attractive, as are foreign television stations. The minister Butoyi said that the project of community telecenters is in the nascent state plan but that it is already operational in Rumonge, Bubanza, Mwaro, and Karusi Provinces.

She hopes that the remaining provinces will be on the plan so soon, arguing that the project budget has been doubled from 28,000,000 to 56,000,000 BIF.

The President of the FSU Steering Committee, Willy Nyamitwe, asked the operators in the ICT sector to support this project.

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