Rwanda, a small East African country with a population of about 13.8 million (2022 data), has been seeing a steady increase in its citizens identifying themselves as digital nomads. These digital nomads represent a group of self-dependent and self-employed people who depend on the internet for a significant portion of things that go on in their lives. As observed, this dependency ranges from online education, remote virtual jobs, online leisure, socialization, and all whatnot.
And with the internet readily available to about 3.54 million Rwandans, representing an internet penetration access of more than 26% as of 2022, we may continue to see more Banyarwandas adopting a digital lifestyle. This digital lifestyle exemplified by Rwandan netizens negates the pattern of living many are already used to.
In the paragraphs below, we will explore the changing lifestyle of Rwandans, netizens in particular, what they spend time doing online, and some factors driving this trend.
Remote Digital Jobs
The government’s efforts to spread development and economic empowerment nationwide have prioritized information, communication, and technology. Rwandans now have access to vast information and global best practices in various fields of endeavour with just the click of a button.
Many people in the digital sector with the proper training have also secured different remote digital jobs at home and abroad with incomes far better than some older folks earn in the traditional industry.
Rwandan netizens have been leveraging digital jobs in sales and marketing, such as product design, branding, digital marketing, content and copywriting, and customer support. Others for IT savvy people are in artificial intelligence development, web3, software engineering, cyber security, data science, etc. This list is inexhaustible as more new digital jobs are created daily. And with platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and others, these jobs are readily accessible.
Leisure and Socialization
The world has become a global village thanks to the power of the internet. The beautiful thing about this is that there is so much people can do online, from work, as mentioned above, to leisure, socialization, and even relaxation. Talking about relaxation, one of the many ways people achieve this on the internet is through playing online casino games. One of the most popular of them is bingo online. Bingo online has expanded globally, and anyone can play it from anywhere, irrespective of location; you need an internet-enabled device, and you are good to go.
And like the rest of the world, Rwandan netizens are not left out of the global excitement that online casino games offer. One such game is bingo online, provided by BuzzBingo, a bold and ambitious online gaming website where Rwandans converge to have fun and socialize. Some popular games there include live bingo games, including Double Bubble, Magic Thursday, Win Spins Bingo, jackpots, slots, and casino games like Age of Gods, Kingdom Rise, and others. Indeed, there’s something for everyone here.
Be that as it may, the internet space here, a place for leisure and socialization, has not been accessible. In time past, there have been several forms of government regulations to checkmate some activities of Rwandan netizens online at various times. However, the effects of these regulations have yet to ultimately erode the advantage different popular online platforms have as places for leisure and socialization.
Rwanda’s internet access is one of the best in Africa, especially compared to our population. This rapid growth of internet penetration resulted from the government’s commitment to investing in digital infrastructure and creating a conducive environment for the tech industry to thrive with local and foreign content.
Co-working opportunities in like manner with enabling government regulations is also another ancillary championing the course of digital nomads. These co-working spaces replicate international best practices where people are eager to connect and network with others who share their passion and life aspirations. Co-working spaces in Rwanda like The Office, Westerwelle Startup Haus, and of course, The Office have already positioned themselves to attract the best minds with their high-speed internet facilities and networking opportunities.
In conclusion, digital is the new way of living for many as it offers freedom, flexibility, and opportunities for personal growth and economic development. As this lifestyle grows, our government and private sector must continue to partner and invest in digital infrastructures to create an enabling environment for the tech industry to thrive. By doing so, Rwanda can be positioned as a hub for digital nomads and contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.