Govt steps up campaign to promote e-payments

The Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, has urged residents of Rubavu District to adopt advanced ways of paying for services.

The Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, has urged residents of Rubavu District to adopt advanced ways of paying for services.

The minister was speaking on Friday evening during a two-day public awareness campaign on e-payment in the on-going nationwide Information and Communication Technology awareness campaign.

The government is promoting use of non-cash or cheque payments, encouraging Rwandans to embrace other forms of payment systems, including bank transactions using mobile phones, money transfers through mobile phone payment services, online payments, among others.

The government is also in the process to transfer most public services online, a move that has gathered momentum following the launch of the Irembo portal, which has since helped several public institutions to digitise their services, thus significantly reducing on queues.

“We want to speed up delivery of services using e-payments, increase agriculture production through ICTs, promote education through technology, and advance health through such modern means,” Nsengimana said.

The minister told Rubavu residents: “Today, we brought this campaign 

(Korana Ubuhanga) to you to encourage you and indeed all Rwandans to adopt technology tools in developing themselves and the country”. One of the country’s main goals, he said, is to develop all the endeavours of life through focusing on technology to ensure sustainability. “ICT is at the heart of our Vision 2020, but we want to specifically focus on service delivery because it is still a challenge”.

Nsengimana noted that service delivery is a right for every Rwandan.

“We have been in situations where we go to seek services and are told to come back the next day or after three days, others have to queue in long lines and spend as many as eight hours waiting for a service.

“Some of you even offer a bribe to get a service; many walk long distances for such services, and face many other challenges. These are the issues that we need to solve using technology,” the minister said.

The ongoing campaign was organised by the Ministry of Youth and ICT; the National Bank of Rwanda; the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; the Ministry of Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs; Rwanda Development Bank, and the Private Sector Federation.

According to the minister, the campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness about the opportunities and benefits offered by online and mobile enabled products and services.

Officials say the sensitisation is also designed to help bridge the awareness gap among key stakeholders and empower them all to make informed decisions with regard to uptake of electronic payments with view to reducing the cost of every payment.

The event also attracted such players as telecom companies, phone suppliers, government institutions offering online services, broadcasters and television suppliers, among others.