Airtel Africa launches a $17 4G smartphone in Rwanda

Airtel Africa has today launched the most affordable 4G smartphone in Rwanda. The smartphone will be available for $16.5 (20,000 Rwandan Francs) with users having the option to pay a $0.8 monthly fee for it.

The smartphone has been launched in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, under the ConnectRwanda 2.0 initiative which focuses on sustainable device financing models. 

In partnership with the government of Rwanda, the digital inclusion and empowerment initiative by Airtel Africa aims to provide over 1 million people in the country with high-speed, cutting-edge LTE smartphones by 2024.

Speaking at a press conference in Kigali to unveil the initiative ahead of the 2023 Mobile World Congress, the Group CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya said “We are proud to be part of this transformative initiative that promises to rewrite Rwanda’s digitization story and give more Rwandans a reason to imagine.

”This partnership demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the Rwandan government’s digitization drive and our belief that digital empowerment is vital for socioeconomic progress. As this affordable smartphone enters the market, new opportunities for learning, business, and connection will emerge, ultimately driving economic growth and innovation”. he said.

In addition to the smartphone, subscribers will also enjoy 1GB of data daily and unlimited calls to any network in Rwanda.

Also speaking at the press conference, Rwanda’s Minister of ICT, Hon. Paula Ingabire represented by the Director General of Digital Transformation in the Ministry, Mr. Gordon Kalema, stated that: “All government agencies have a target of 2024 to digitize their activities. So, this initiative is aimed at enabling the realization of that ambitious target”.

He congratulated Airtel Africa for the successful launch of the 4G smartphone offer and for believing in Rwanda and the government’s digitization vision. He also thanked Mr. Reed Hastings, the co-founder and Chairman of Netflix, whose generous contribution made the initiative possible.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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