Officials from the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA) and German experts, on Friday held discussions with both students and Staff from the Faculty of Applied Sciences on the possibility of introducing Amateursâ€™ radio. Amateur radio is a service in which participants use various types of radio communications
Officials from the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA) and German experts, on Friday held discussions with both students and Staff from the Faculty of Applied Sciences on the possibility of introducing Amateursâ€™ radio. Amateur radio is a service in which participants use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public services, recreation and self-training.
The key role of Amateur Radio is to intervene in emergency situations like earthquakes, floods, etc when normal services are not working as stated by Francis Ngabo the Director of ICT scarce resources, management and monitoring in RURA. He stressed that this process will help in learning, sharing and gaining experience where they shall target young engineers to achieve all the intended goals.
The Dean of the faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) Prof. Shenoud Dawoud welcomed the idea of establishing Amateur Radio services at the NUR as another promising step in ICT development. â€śButare is most suitable for hosting Amateur Radio since it is located near a universityâ€ť, he added.
Through this partnership RURA will donate one radio and FAS students will use their skills to make it functional like building the antenna, etc. RURA Officials also said that they have plans to create an Amateur union in Rwanda by having different clubs. They also promised to help in establishing a Radio Amateur club in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, providing materials for the club and the required license. Participants in these discussions were told that establishing the club is not enough but participation and involvement. â€śWe need to surpass ourselves to shift from radio amateurs to engineersâ€ť, Ngabo added
The Impact of Amateur radios on normal radios was one of the concerns raised by students from the Faculty of Applied Sciences. However, Dr Felix K. Akorli, the Coordinator of Masters in ICT assured them that amateur radios use their own frequency band.
According to Prof. Shenoud Dawoud, once the construction of the ICT center is completed at the NUR, it will be the largest center in Africa with modern facilities. He further revealed that the Faculty of Applied Sciences has already submitted proposals for the introduction of a masters program in Information and Communication (IC), and another masterâ€™s degree in mobile and Satellite communication. Both programs are likely to start by February 2011.
The launch of amateursâ€™ radio at the NUR will help in empowering the establishment of a strong Rwanda Amateurs Radio union (RARU). Rwanda through RURA started establishing this union in 2008 and the expansion activities will be extended to other higher learning institutions like KIST, Tumba College of Technology etc.
By Alice RWEMA IRIBAGIZA & Emmy NUWAMANYA