CoK deploys new digital system to process construction permits

It will now be easier and faster to process construction permit applications in the City of Kigali (CoK) and secondary cities around the country, thanks to a new digital system for issuing and managing building permits that starts today.
Mpabwanamaguru (left) with other architects at the end of the workshop. / Appolonia Uwanziga
Mpabwanamaguru (left) with other architects at the end of the workshop. / Appolonia Uwanziga

It will now be easier and faster to process construction permit applications in the City of Kigali (CoK) and secondary cities around the country, thanks to a new digital system for issuing and managing building permits that starts today.

The electronic Building Permit Management Information System (eBPMIS) is designed to digitise building permit issuing services in the City of Kigali and secondary cities and to improve service delivery, according to Merard Mpabwanamaguru, the city master plan review and development control officer.

Mpabwanamaguru said: “The new system replaces the old system (BPMIS) previously deployed in the secondary cities, and will allow applicants to get progressing notifications and enable them to pay for services electronically using mobile money services or debit and credit cards.”

Previously, engineers and architects used to pick the invoices from City Hall and pay in banks to start processing building permit. The applicants will also be notified on their mobile phones when the construction permits are approved under the new system.

“The system is interlinked with the Irembo portal through which citizens access government services and is connected to the land administration system, which will help to identify land ownership,” Mpabwanamaguru said on Friday.

“So, we are optimistic that the new system will solve many problems, including queues as well as save time and money architects and engineers have been spending to check the status of the permit applications,” he added.

Didier Sagashya, the City of Kigali Executive Secretary, said the new platform will ease doing business in the construction industry as it addresses challenges that affected the performance of the old system.

Whereas the old system was used only in secondary cities, the upgraded platform is going to serve the City of Kigali and the cities.

It will shorten the time required for one-stop centres to assess, approve and report on permit applications and efficiently provide feedback on sites and plot inspections, Sagashya added.

According to Eng. John Kalamagye, the registrar at the Institute of Engineers in Rwanda, the new system has helped harmonise the application process.

“Previously, there were many processes. Besides, we also used to scan application documents and upload them, but now all the forms are online and the application process is now shorter,” he added.

“The new system will help us serve customers better and make it easy to do business,” he said.

“With the new system, you can get updates in the comfort of your office through the Internet or on your phone.

It is also fast as it will take only seven days to process a construction permit down from 15 days under the old system.”

The system will later be rolled out to all districts across the country.

Thierry Iraguha, an architect from HACC Ltd, said procedures have been merged under the new system to streamline the construction permit application process.

The country has ambitious targets to move online most of its services to the people and seeks to achieve at least 95 per cent of the digitisation of the services in the short-term.

 

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