The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Online Platform Limited have begun implementation of the Rwanda Online Platform, aimed at creating a unified public services platform and bringing government services online.
RDB said the platform will see all government to business (G2B) and government to citizen (G2C) services available online and via mobile, in efforts to bridge the gap of access to information, as well as improve service delivery through the digitalisation of services.
“The Rwanda Online platform will be a single service delivery portal for all Government ministries and agencies, providing citizens and businesses with a streamlined and efficient experience with reduced operational costs,” said Rosemary Mbabazi, permanent secretary at the Ministry for Youth and ICT.
“Rwanda online is a transformational project that demonstrates government’s continued efforts and commitment to better the lives of the citizens and increase productivity while enhancing service delivery,” she said.
The Rwandan government signed an agreement with private company Rwanda Online Platform in April this year, according to which the company will manage the platform for 25 years, before transferring it back to the government.
The first phase of implementation will conclude in April 2015, with ten services expected to be accessible online by then, including the applications for national ID cards, applications for birth certificates, registration for driving licence theory tests, applications for visa permits, applications for criminal clearance certificates, building permits, transfer of land titles, ordinary passports, and issuance of trading licences.
“The Rwanda Online initiative is an excellent demonstration of how the return on investment made on ICT infrastructure continues to transform the lives of our citizens and make the Rwandan business environment even more attractive and competitive,” said Francis Gatare, chief executive officer (CEO)of the RDB.
“We are looking forward to seeing the first ten services online, as a success story in public service delivery in Africa unfolds here within Rwanda,” he said.
Gatare said all services will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the single point of access, which can be used over the internet as well as on mobile devices.
RDB said in addition to streamlining services, the platform will increase government accountability and improve government service delivery overall.
“In the short term, [the platform] will provide tangible results such as reducing the amount of time spent waiting in line, streamlining requirements for the application process, and increasing accountability on the Government. In the longer term, it will heighten expectations of government service delivery-making Rwanda a model for the rest of the continent,” said Irene Ndikumwenayo, acting CEO of Rwanda Online.
Rwanda Online will work six government institutions to gather requirements, build prototypes and engage institutions in testing and training activities, leading up to the go-live date in April.