Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is the Connect Rwanda challenge?

    The #ConnectRwanda challenge is a campaign through which any individual and/or organization makes a voluntary pledge to put a smartphone in the hands of the unconnected in Rwanda. This is predominantly an online activity where various people are thrown the challenge to donate towards the cause and nominate others to do the same.

  • How did it begin/who introduced it?

    MTN Rwanda kicked off this challenge as part of a campaign focused on promoting and accelerating digital adoption in Rwanda. The first part of the campaign is a Smartphone Pledge, which aims at involving the general public to help connect the unconnected by donating smartphones.

  • What does it intend to achieve?

    The #ConnectRwanda challenge is focused on promoting and accelerating digital adoption in Rwanda, through an increase in smartphone penetration and internet usage. There are 2.8million households in Rwanda and the objective is to have at least one phone per household. With time, the ambition would be for everyone to own one.

  • Who should join the challenge?

    This is a voluntary challenge open to all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda that would like to support Rwanda’s goal to digitize the nation. People from within the country and outside are welcome to join.

  • Who are the beneficiaries?

    Beneficiaries are being determined in conjunction with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

    The focus will be households with aim of enabling them to access digital services. A special consideration will be given to people with disabilities and other voluntary service providers at community level. Also, identified individuals who are currently mobile subscribers but only have a feature phone.

    Employees, directors, agents, contractors, and consultants of MTN and all other participating companies and their immediate families, life partners, associates, or business partners shall not receive the donation.

  • Who coordinates the concept?

    MTN Rwanda in partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation will be coordinating this project.

  • Who is the contact person for follow up?

    For more information, you can reach out to:
    1. MTN Rwanda: Patrick Muhoozi – 0788313130, Antoine Twahirwa – 0788312509, connectrwanda.rw@mtn.com
    2. Ministry of ICT & Innovation: Kalema Gordon - DG/MINICT- 0785100519, gkalema@minict.gov.rw

  • What devices are allowed or not allowed?

    Only Smartphones are allowed as type approved by the regulator.

  • Can anyone offer more than just a device?

    Donors may elect to either donate a smartphone device of their choice or the equivalent value in cash or MTN Mobile Money. Cash and/or Mobile Money donations will be used by MTN Rwanda (in consultation with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation) to purchase smartphone devices that will then be distributed to the beneficiaries.

  • Is there a timeline for respecting a pledge?

    The challenge will run in earnest till 31st March 2020, however, the channels of the pledge will remain open in the event that any individual or organization would like to pledge after that.

  • What is the form of challenge (funds or devices/services)?

    The various ways one can pledge include;

    Via Twitter
    Share your pledge on Twitter using the hashtag #ConnectRwanda. Tag @MTNRwanda and @RwandaICT so we can keep track of all pledges. Be sure to throw the challenge to someone else to pledge as well.

    Via WhatsApp (or SMS)
    You can also share your pledge by text or video message on WhatsApp or SMS with +250788310044.

    At MTN Head Office or any MTN Rwanda Service Centre
    Drop off your pledge at the MTN Head Office or in any MTN Service Centres across the country. You will find a box labelled #ConnectRwanda. Be sure to make the Service Centre officers aware of your pledge, so we can keep track of all.

    Devices can also be couriered (locally or from outside the country, to the following address):

    • MTN Head Office, MTN Centre, KG 9 Ave, Kigali, Rwanda
    • To the attention of: Yvette Bazimya, Logistics Department

    Donations of Smartphone devices are accepted. However, individuals/organizations can donate in the form of cash which will be used to purchase Smartphone devices, using the following channels;

    1. Via MTN Mobile Money
    Send your cash pledge using MoMo Pay by dialling *182*8*1*100100# from your MTN number. Enter the amount you wish to pledge and hit send. Be sure to let us know of your pledge on the online channels shared above.

    2. Via Bank Transfer
    You can also send a cash pledge (locally or from outside the country) using the following bank details:

    Bank Name: Equity Bank
    Bank Address: Grand Pension Plaza, 1st Floor, KN 4 Ave, Kigali, Rwanda.
    Account Name: Connect Rwanda
    Account Number: 4001200636282 (RWF) or 4001200636310 (USD)
    Swift Code: EQBLRWRWXXX

  • How does the public get to know if the funds are accounted for?

    The Ministry of ICT, as well as MTN Rwanda, are signatories to the account receiving funds from donors. This account will be monitored and audited by both Internal and External Auditors.

  • Who selects the beneficiaries?

    The Ministry of ICT and Innovation will advise on the beneficiaries of this campaign.

  • Will beneficiaries pay for the phones or offer something in return ?

    1. No. Beneficiaries are not expected to pay for any device donated.
    2. In the event that the beneficiary is from the segment of the population that has an existing feature phone, they will be offered the smartphone as a swap for their existing device.

  • Why is this challenge run by MTN?

    The challenge was initiated by MTN Rwanda as part of its Digital Campaign. It is however supported by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, as it is seen as an initiative that can supplement the ongoing initiatives being run by the government to accelerate digital adoption.

  • Which institution(s) can one engage beyond MTN?

    The Ministry of ICT can be engaged on anything related to the #ConnectRwanda challenge.

  • Can MTN competitors be part of the challenge?

    The challenge is open to all individuals or organizations that would like to pledge their support.

  • Can anyone outside Rwanda participate?

    Yes. All persons willing to donate to the campaign including Companies, Individuals, Non-Governmental Organizations and any other Organizations in and out of Rwanda can participate.

  • What happens when a pledge is not respected?

    All pledges made are voluntary, if a donor cannot fulfill the pledge given, whether partially or completely, MTN shall request the donor to revise or withdraw the pledge in writing for purposes of accountability. Where the donor is not willing to do so, the pledge will be recorded and reported as unfulfilled.

  • Can Rwandans outside the country benefit?

    No. This campaign is only applicable to Rwandans living in Rwanda.

  • Does this challenge have copyrights, or it can be copied and replicated by anyone who wishes elsewhere?

    No, this challenge is not copyrighted.

  • What happens when a beneficiary misuses the device (sell, lose, donate, abuse)?

    • This initiative targets people who are in critical need of smartphones and have proven use cases. In parallel to this exercise, a targeted awareness campaign will be conducted to ensure that beneficiaries guard and make the utmost use of acquired devices.
    • In the event of loss or theft, and another phone number is identified using the donated device, this new phone number will be communicated to and suspended pending verification.

  • What happens when there are intended and unfair malpractices in selecting beneficiaries?

    The criteria for selection has been well laid and will continue to be fine-tuned in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. In case of any malpractice, responsible agencies shall investigate the process to ensure compliance.

  • Are there mechanisms to track malpractices?

    A cross functional team from within the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, will oversee the selection of beneficiaries, to be verified by a competent authority.

  • Will every process be made public for purposes of transparency?

    Yes. The process of pledging, selecting and donating the devices will be transparent to the public. Periodically the number of pledges made to date will be made available on all social media channels of MTN Rwanda and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

  • Are other smartphone brands allowed beyond Mara phone?

    Yes. All device brands are allowed as type approved by the regulator.

  • Is there an efficient governance platform to fast track this challenge and to manage the challenge?

    The pledging process and collection of devices will be managed by a selected team within MTN Rwanda and the Ministry of ICT to ensure all pledges are followed up on.

  • Can beneficiaries choose what to use the phones for/ are there conditions attached to beneficiaries?

    The beneficiaries can use for the phones for access to any digital services as they wish.

  • Will the distributed smartphones have warranty?

    Yes, all phones purchased through the challenge shall have warranty. However, all pledges that are received as physical device donations which do not have a warranty will be assessed for fitness of use before distribution.

  • How do staff members who can't afford to participate be protected from coercion or blackmail?

    It is not mandatory for anyone to pledge to the #ConnectRwanda challenge. Staff may opt not to pledge.

  • Will beneficiaries be allowed to switch to a different network of their choice?

    MTN Rwanda will provide a free MTN SIM and 1GB free data per month for the first 3 months after receipt of the smartphone. Beneficiaries are however allowed to use any SIM card of their preference.

  • Can a beneficiary be asked to return the phone?

    No. Once a beneficiary receives a device, he/she will not be asked to return it. The donor is not allowed to claim for the return of the donation made to #ConnectRwanda or claim for any compensation in that effect.

  • Who will hold MTN accountable in case it uses this challenge to advance its interests or as a weapon against its competitors?

    The campaign was initiated for the benefit of Rwandans. It is for this reason that all individuals and/or organizations can participate. All smartphones are also not locked to the MTN Network. MTN sought to collaborate with the Ministry of ICT & Innovation in this exercise and thus would engage MTN Rwanda in the event of any concern.