Rwanda has made a step towards having all government services accessible online with the start of the first phase of the implementation of the Rwanda Online platform yesterday.
The purpose for the initiative is to establish a public service platform that will offer businesses and citizens access to government via internet and mobile devices.
In April, government signed an agreement with a private firm, Rwanda Online Platform Limited, granting concession to the firm to manage the platform for 25 years, after which it would be transferred back to government.
The deal aims to bridge the gap of access to information, as well as improve service delivery through the digitalisation of services.
The first phase of implementation is expected to end in April 2015 whereby ten services are expected to be accessible online.
Services to be given priority for automation in the first phase include the national ID card application, application for birth certificates, registration for driving license theory test, application for visa permits, application for criminal clearance certificate, building permits, transfer of land titles, ordinary passports, and issuance of trading licenses.
During this phase, Rwanda Online will work with six government institutions to gather requirements, build prototypes and engage institutions in testing and training activities, leading up to the go-live date in April.
Rosemary Mbabazi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Youth and ICT, said the platform will act as a window for citizens to access government services.
“The Rwanda Online platform will be a single service delivery portal for all government ministries and agencies, providing citizens and businesses with a streamlined and efficient experience with reduced operational costs,” the permanent secretary said in a statement released yesterday.
Francis Gatare, CEO, Rwanda Development Board, said the initiative is a demonstration of how the return on investment made on ICT infrastructure continues to transform people’s lives and make Rwandan business environment attractive and more competitive.
Irene Ndikumwenayo, the acting CEO of Rwanda Online platform, said on completion, the initiative will streamline requirements for the application processes, increase accountability on the part of government, and heighten expectations of government service delivery.