First Taste of Success for a Young Software Developer in Rwanda


A senior-six student in Essa Nyarungunga, has made a name for himself by creating computer software that is already being used by some companies.

Yves Kamanzi does not just study computer sciences, it is a passion which does not leave him when he gets out of the classroom. As a result, he has developed several administrative computer applications and despite fierce competition in the sector, he has been able to win over several companies. One program, which calculates employees' net salaries, has proven especially popular.

"It helps accountants since they can monitor an employee's payment process without necessary going through files," Kamanzi explains.

His success may in part due to the fact that the young entrepreneur does not simply develop and sell software, he also follows up on his clients with maintenance and can customize his programs according to a company's specific need.

And the business-savvy youngster sees other opportunities - he is currently working on a program for hospital management. According to Kamanzi, health services have been undermined by poor management of patients and treatment facilities. "So the program will deal with key issues such as recording the patients' medical background, which will make it easier for doctors to find the required information."

Another field is music - which also happens to be Kamanzi's hobby. He has already developed a program called Ray player which helps producers to record music and manage the studio business, yet he intends to expand it and turn it into a more effective tool that can be used by music makers throughout the whole recording and mixing process.

When asked how he managed to do it, Kamanzi modestly replies that it is mainly due to one of his teachers, who in his spare time has helped him in developing his programming skills. And that relationship is unlikely to end when he finishes his studies. "We have plans to set up a software company together early next year," the student says.

To make that come true, however, there is one last hurdle remaining: he must pass his exams. So at the moment, he has put his programming on the back burner. "I am currently fully concentrated on passing my exams, and only do software design in what little spare time I have," Kamanzi explains.

Considering the young man's determination, there is little doubt that he will succeed and then be able to achieve his dream of opening his workshop - so far, he has been working from home. And he intends to offer a more complete service. "I will not only make software but also do computer repair and maintenance," he says.

It seems that, once they set up the company, Kamanzi and his teacher will not be idle for long. Already, they are working on a computer program to help banks managing accounts. That will come in handy, especially to keep tag on Kamanzi's own rapidly growing bank account.

Focus Media