Despite the concerted efforts to evolve Rwanda into an ICT hub with expectations of efficiency and one-stop delivery of services, the essential facility of government websites is still lacking.
Well streamlined websites for government institutions are imperative to provide urgent and relevant information, but many of these websites have a lot to be desired.
With Rwanda’s global interactivity gaining momentum due to the lucrative investment opportunities in the country, many foreigners have expressed interests in coming to invest here.
Among the many concerns which have been raised against some of the government websites include slowness and not updating them, some for for as long as three years..
Among such websites are the Ministries of Commerce, Health, Local Government, Agriculture, MINIRENA among others.
The Sunday Times contacted Zacharie Harerimana, the director of the ICT unit at MINIRENA, for a comment on the current complaints surrounding the inadequacy of their website. He said the problem stems from the fact that there is no personnel directly charged with updating and managing the website.
“I sometimes just remember that I have to update the website,” he said.
He also pointed out that the reason their website is not promptly updated is because the norm has been to update after a special event has occurred.
Harerimana however attributed the slowness to random technical lapses and Rwandatel who are their internet service providers.
He said that very soon their website will be stable since they contracted Rwanda Development Gateway to reconstruct their website.
“We contracted Rwanda Development Gateway to reconstruct our website and it took long to complete the process, but as we speak, everything is done. We are just waiting to hear from users’ responses on its effectiveness.”
The major material on most government websites are laws, policy documents and decrees leaving out crucial aspects of updating and informing the public and the potential investors into the specific sectors.
Emmanuel Nsekanabo the spokesperson for RITA, said that RITA is charged with developing websites for the government and hands them over to the specific institutions and ministries. According to him, it is up to the institutions to manage the websites and update them with their information.
When this paper contacted Wilson Muyenzi, the e-Rwanda coordinator, he disclosed that e-Rwanda is working on a web-portal which will be launched mid August.
“This web-portal is going to be a one-stop shop for all government information and it will be linked to all government websites including ministries and institutions.”
He observed that this will facilitate easy access of government information posted on the web but it will only feature material which will be posted on the website by the specific ministries and institutions.
“The issue of not updating or managing the website is purely a problem of the specific ministries, we develop the websites and the rest is up to them,” he clarified.
Some ministries and institutions have tried to update their websites with the edge-cutting information and latest stories in their operations, among these include the Ministries of Health, Foreign Affairs, MINICOM and RDB. Most of the information posted especially relates to investing in Rwanda. The fastest website is MINAFET followed by MINISANTE.