De-la Rue, a UK based firm in partnership with the national ID project is set to start issuing smart cards before the end of the year.
Smart cards are electronic gadgets that will link different services provided by different institutions like banks, super-markets, hospitals (e-health) and medical insurances among others.
According to Pascal Nyamulinda, the coordinator of the National ID project which has the mandate to process the smart cards, the cards will integrate many services using its multi purpose chip.
“According to the assessment that we carried out, we found out that 25,000 people need smart cards services in Rwanda and the process of manufacturing them will kick off before the year ends,” said Nyamulinda.
The objective of this will be to facilitate the population get improved service delivery from various institutions that offer them services.
The cards that will have a client’s personal details embedded in a chip will also reveal information related to the services.
The processing of these cards will be gradual and the number of recipients is expected to rise as the number of people who seek services from such institutions rise.
This process will commence with the immigration department where the application of passports will be electronically done along side the driving permits e-banking and travel will come later.
However, the government is still under negotiations with the vendor technology (de-la rue) about the technicalities of the project.
“Before the kick off, a lot of work has to be done in regard to project management plan and how it will work,” added Nyamulinda.
This project has been combined with the national ID and the driving license which has seen the government spend $18 million.
Further more, the government of Rwanda through its national ID project, a national population registry completed and stored in a master database.
3.2 million machine readable ID cards have been produced and currently being distributed; 2 million cards are under production.
According to the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) report released May 2009, a total of 5.2 million eligible citizens will receive the new cards. Driver licence and smart cards based on the same platform are being developed for distribution in 2009.
All data required for issuing of electronic passports is in place. Immigration intends to move to electronic passports in the future.