The Internet and Tourism in Rwanda: Value Chains and Networks of Connectivity-Based Enterprises in Rwanda
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East Africa was the world’s last major region without submarine fibre-optic broadband internet access, and until the summer of 2009 had been forced to rely on slow and costly satellite connections for access. However, the region has recently been connected via fibre-optic cable – in theory, allowing much greater speeds at much lower prices. This rapid transformation in the region’s connectivity has prompted politicians, journalists, academics, and citizens to speak of an economic revolution fuelled by information and communication technologies (ICTs) happening on the continent. While some research has been conducted into the impacts of ICTs on economic processes and practices, there remains surprisingly little research into changing connectivity in East Africa. Here the authors summarise research examining the effects of this changing connectivity in the Rwandan tourism sector. We seek to understand what impacts changing connectivity is having, who benefits and who doesn’t.