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26-year-old Deodate Mugenzi, a third year student at the Polytechnic Regional Center in Kigali, Rwanda, pursuing Information and Communication Technology has made a remarkable discovery.

Mugenzi, after a thorough research has figured out a prototype that will enable WhatsApp users to make calls on the app without internet connection.

The student says his research was fueled by the fact that internet connection costs in most parts of Africa are out of the reach for many. He was exploring the idea of how to get people connected cheaply, if not for free.

He began working on the idea of free connection in 2017, and armed with nothing more than his laptop and library books on physics, Mugenzi set out to do his research.

Coming from an IT background – he is an ICT student – Mugenzi put to good use the skills he had gathered so far in class and combined it with knowledge from some Physics books.

The contraption Mugenzi came up with after his research, is a technology that uses optic physics, mobile devices communication technique and networking principles. It also relies on the computer system to allow users to access popular internet applications, and WhatsApp, for one, can directly call mobile phone numbers.

Mugenzi’s prototype has so far attracted the interest of several telecommunication companies, with each expressing their interest to buy the technology for further development. He has also partnered with the American embassy in a program running locally in Rwanda designed to inspire the youth to come up with innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges facing their immediate community.

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