Byte by Byte: Rwanda Case Study

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The Malabo Montpellier Panel’s report —Byte by Byte: Policy Innovation for Transforming Africa’s Food System with Digital Technologies—Summarizes the key findings of a systematic analysis of what seven African countries at the forefront of progress on digitalization of the agriculture sector have done right. It analyzes which institutional and policy innovations were implemented and what actions were taken by the private sector and agtech start-ups to increase the development and use of digital tools and services in the agriculture value chain.

The use of digital technologies in Rwanda’s agriculture sector is advancing rapidly. Yet, despite visible developments in the ICT sector, Rwanda scored just 3.8 out of 9 in the 2017 World Bank’s EBA ICT Index. While this indicates some progress, there is still room for improvement with respect to regulation and policies that enable a digital environment for the agriculture sector.1 According to the GSMA 2017 Mobile Connectivity Index (MCI), Rwanda’s overall performance regarding key characteristics for mobile
internet adoption increased by 27 percent since 2014, with a score of 41.7 in 2017. However, Rwanda still ranks below the African average, mainly due to low network performance and accessibility of mobile apps in the local language. Yet, the country performs particularly well in providing network
coverage—with a striking 93 percent of the population having access to 3G networks—affordable handset prices and gender equality in terms of the labor market and gender.

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