On Thursday, telecentre managers completed training on how to use Irembo Platform, an e-government portal developed and operated by ‘Rwanda Online’.
The trainees were drawn from the three districts of Kigali, namely Nyarugenge, Kicukiro and Gasabo, as well as upcountry districts of Bugesera and Gicumbi.
The aim of the training was to equip participants with the skills to facilitate citizens to access e-government services currently available on the Irembo platform.
Today, five services are available online namely; application for a birth certificate, registration for provisional or definitive and supplementary driving license tests, and application for a criminal record.
Ephraim Nkurunziza, the managing director of Mayange Village, a knowledge hub centre in Bugesera, said the extra services his telecentre will be offering would bring convenience to his clients.
“Many people had to travel to Kigali to get access some services but with Irembo, many of these services will be accessed here. We are happy to bridge this gap in service delivery and this training has equipped us with everything we need to know about the platform,” he noted.
Nkurunziza, who estimates the number of residents in his village to be 30,000, says about 19,000 will use the services and that excites him.
The training of telecentre managers on Irembo platform is a result of a partnership agreement signed between Rwanda Telecentre Network (RTN), the Ministry of Youth and ICT as well as Rwanda Online in May.
Paul Barera, the executive director of RTN said, “In the MOU, we are looking at re-branding existing private ICT access points under the RTN flagship into “Irembo centres”. This branding exercise will help to promote and re-use private ICT access points as recognised places where citizens can converge to access e-government services.”
Aside from bringing services closer to clients, this will also bring more business and cashflow to the telecentres, according to Marie Loiuse Bukiye, a participant.
“Alongside our already existing business, this also brings more income for us and we are able to better the experience of out clients, enable ICT access and training as well as enhance service delivery to Rwandans,” she said.
Currently, 140 private ICT access points are operational countrywide while RTN plans to facilitate the deployment of at least 1,000 Irembo centres countrywide before the end of 2016.
“To ensure sustainability of Irembo centres , it is planned that each centre would be run by village level entrepreneurs and would be able to deliver e-government as well as business to citizen services,” Barera says.
Additional training sessions will take place next week targeting around 100 telecentres managers from other districts.