Individuals and firms seeking services from the Rwanda Standards Board will no longer be required to make multiple trips to the agency’s offices, following the launch of an information portal that allows the public to access the services online.
The portal, developed with the support of Trademark East Africa, seeks to reduce time taken to disseminate information as well as different operations such as standard development processes, application for certification and testing and certification services, among others.
The portal’s launch comes a day after the government was urged to exploit electronic governance to rally various stakeholders behind service provision at the e-Governance Forum, convened by the Ministry of Youth and ICT, and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, in Kigali earlier this week.
Speaking at the portal’s launch in Kigali, yesterday, RSB director-general Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe said the online provision of the service was in line with the body’s ambitions to improve convenience and efficiency in service provision.
He said the platform would not only increase efficiency but also ensure accountability to the public during service delivery.
“The portal is made up of an internal management information system for internal processes and external systems for service seekers to benefit from. With the automated system the private and public sector will be able to enjoy tried and proven technologies that will be able to deliver services efficiently,” Bagabe said.
‘Closer to vision’
The portal moves RSB closer to the realisation of its vision to be a trusted party in providing internationally recognised and customer suited services, Bagabe added.
Trademark East Africa country director Hannington Namara said their decision to support the establishment of the management information system and information portal was because of the impact it would have to the the agency’s operations and the economy in general.
Considering the role of RSB and the expanding economy, Namara said, RSB requires enhanced capacity to manage, monitor and regulate the industry with efficiency.
“We are moving to the age where regulation is not tantamount to bureaucratic red tape but precautions to ensure that all players adhere to the same rules. This portal will ensure the elimination of bottlenecks that the board has been experiencing in its operations,” Namara said.
He added that it will also free up limited resources that can be realigned and enhanced for the critical functions of market access, monitoring and regulatory enforcement which was also important for industry and business.
He acknowledged the role of ICT in turning resources into success factors underlining the need to embed technology in the day today service provision.
Lambert Ntagwabira, a senior ICT skills development expert at the Ministry of Youth and ICT, lauded RSB efforts, noting that it was one of the first institutions to build a functional online service delivery platform.
He pledged support from his ministry to further the development of the system to improve its efficiency and scope.
Ntagwabira added that the platform conformed to the Rwanda Online Platform, which aims at making all government services available online for improved service delivery that is currently under construction.
The platform will be made possible courtesy of a partnership between the government and a private firm, Rwanda Online Platform Limited.
The first phase of the initiative kicked off in August, last year, with 10 select institutions expected to be automated by May.
Members of the private sector, however, urged RSB to consider making it possible to make payments online for convenience.
Speaking about the country’s progress towards online service delivery earlier this week, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said Rwanda had its sights set on achieving a fully functional self-service, paperless government system by 2018.