The Burundi government has requested assistance from SpaceX to bring high-speed internet services to their country, which has been facing challenges with internet connectivity. Burundi is a landlocked country with a population of 13 million people.
President Evariste Ndayishimiye announced that he met and discussed with a SpaceX company delegation.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., commonly referred to as SpaceX, is an American spacecraft manufacturer, launch service provider, defense contractor and satellite communications company headquartered in Hawthorne, California.
Burundi Agency of Telecommunication Regulation-ARCT said in its August report that around 10% of Burundi population (13,313,984 people) uses internet.
“Internet is expensive in Burundi,” says Christian Ntahondi, a resident of Bujumbura. “The government should also reduce taxes imposed on smartphones, computers, etc. which can facilitate people to buy them at lower prices.”
Pierre Nduwayo, Chairman of the Burundian Association of Consumers-ABUCO, notes “Telecommunication is part of human rights.”
According to Hermalas Nahimana, ARCT Acting Director, “The penetration rate of internet usage in Burundi is currently inferior to 10%”
For him, there are several challenges regarding the evolution of internet usage in Burundi. He adds challenges over regulatory texts regarding the evolution of information and communication technology.
However, Nahimana says the government has created a universal service fund that will help the rural population access the internet.