Participants at Transform Africa request the African communities to deal with ICT gadgets addiction.
“People have forgotten to communicate; whenever you find a group of people in the city together, they are all busy on phones but do not mind about discussing physically,” said a participant.
Rwandaeye spoke to several individuals, who shared some scenarios on this addiction, whereby for example, a groom forget about the bride and just discusses with his gadget.
“It looks quite ugly,” says Uwera Mediatrice who witnessed the scenario during a wedding service.
Uwera also has been witnessing the same distraction from people at restaurants with self-services.
“Individuals queue to put food but forget about what they are doing and keep chatting from their gadgets in front of pans, thus blocking others waiting to be served.”
The Rwanda Traffic Police has realized the challenge with gadgets addiction.
Currently, the fine for a driver who is driving and chatting on phone, is Rwf 50,000, compared to Rwf 25,000 fine for over speeding, bad parking or failure to put on a seatbelt while on board.
That was after it was discovered that distraction on phone is one of the major causes of road accidents.
Reacting to this gadgets’ addiction allegation, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT joked that, “the minister of Justice would need to work on a law to regulate social media use.
Agreeing that to some extent, people need to get serious with use of gadgets, Nsengimana said “We need to find a quick response to divert this addiction.”
However, Rwanda may find a solution other than stopping the phone penetration. Currently over 50% of Rwandans own a telephone.
The percentage of Rwandans owning a mobile phone increased to 63.3% in 2014, from 6.2% in 2005, according to Rwanda Household Living Condition Survey (EICV 4).
Rwanda has started digitalizing most of its services, including the services delivered at Rwanda Revenue Authority, and Local government, under the e-tax and e-government respectively.
Health community workers also use a telephone to report cases of mothers and children for a quick response from a health center.
Mobile money services are also allowing flow of cash in the community, at low cost.