News Column

Internet service providers should cash in on apps

June 1, 2014

THE NEW TIMES yesterday run a story about testing of mobile apps that track school absenteeism. The testing phase is taking place in Kigali and Bugesera district.

The apps also alert health workers in the event that the learner is absent for health reasons. 

These are just but a few of the many apps, some of which have been developed by a crop of young tech-savvy Rwandans, mainly the youth to address the social needs of the country.

But sadly, many of these apps disappear into oblivion soon after they have been successfully launched.

This sad reality is not because of lack of enthusiasm among the young developers nor is it the lack of government support. On the contrary, government has done probably more than enough, including putting in place enablers like the fibre optic that is spread across the country and a host of other incentives to spur ICT growth.

The missing link is more effort from internet service providers, to ensure these apps achieve the intended purpose, which would also boost their business, if these apps are fully operational. 

A good example is the money transfer services that were invented in Kenya through the support of Safaricom, which has had similar apps introduced by other telecoms. Just seven years after the service was introduced, millions of people, most of them having been unbanked, are now using the service, and the concept has since gone beyond Africa.

Internet service providers therefore stand to win as much if they supported such life-changing concepts and should be seen to work closely with these developers. 

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: New Times, The (Rwanda)

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