Rwanda: IT Firm Scoops International Award


Camara Rwanda, a social enterprise based in Kigali, has been awarded with 'Most Innovative Development Project Award' by the Global Development Network (GDN).
The firm received the award during the 12th annual GDN Conference held in Bogota, Colombia last week.

"With over 250 projects that submitted their proposals, Camara's operation model appealed to the jurors drawn from reputable institutions such as the World Bank, JICA, AUSI-AID and Kenya's Central Bank, as a result of its simple yet self-sustainable approach," said Edward Rwagasore, a senior official at Camara Rwanda.

Rwagasore added that, Camara's operations focus on establishing e-learning centres in schools across the country. "We are currently working with 33 academic institutions spread across the country, with numbers set to grow. We have set up computer labs in all those schools which are equipped with Camara PCs that are fine-tuned and installed with pre-configured Linux software based on the educational package, Edubuntu," said Rwagasore.

Camarabuntu, as it is known, is loaded with numerous applications that prove handy in enhancing computer literacy. They include programmes that develop mouse and keyboard skills, interactive software and an offline version of Wikipedia among many other programmes.

"Schools partnering with Camara Rwanda receive a wide range of support services that include teacher training on ICT usage as a pedagogical tool, technical support on PCs and parts as well as supply of relevant software and material," said Rwagasore.

He also noted that ownership and responsibility is bestowed on the schools through payment of a levy on the machines. Explaining one of the reasons why his organization emerged best, Rwagasore said that volunteers, drawn from the local youth, are responsible for a lot of what Camara does.