Rwanda Online platform officially takes off
The Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Online Platform Limited kicked off the first phase of implementation of the Rwanda Online platform set to establish an integrated public service platform that will exclusively offer Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Citizen (G2C) services in the country, accessible via internet and mobile devices.
The agreement between the Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Online Platform Limited, signed in April of this year, granted the concession to Rwanda Online Platform to Build and Operate the Platform for twenty-five (25) years, after which it will be transferred back to the Government of Rwanda.
The Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement aims to bridge the gap of access to information, as well as improve public service delivery through the digitalization of services. As part of the agreement, Rwanda Online Platform committed to deliver one hundred pre-selected services using a phased approach over a course of three years effective August 20th, 2014.
The kick-off meeting, attended by leaders from the six institutions within which the one hundred services fall, served the purpose of strengthening the commitment from key stakeholders ahead of implementation.
The first phase of implementation is expected to end in April 2015 whereby ten services are expected to go live. Starting this month, Rwanda Online will begin to work with the six institutions in Phase 1 to gather requirements, build prototypes and engage institutions in testing and training activities, leading up to the go-live date in April.
Services to be automated in the first phase include: National ID card application, Application for birth certificate, Registration for theory test, Application for Visa Permits, Application for Criminal Clearance certificate (extrait du casierjudiciaire), Application for building permits, Transfer of land title, Application for ordinary passport, Issuance of trading license and Land registration.
Rosemary Mbabazi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and ICT said: “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. Rwanda online is a transformational project that demonstrates government’s continued efforts and commitment to better the lives of the citizens and increase productivity while enhancing service delivery”.
Francis Gatare, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board said: “The Rwanda Online initiative is an excellent demonstration of how the return on investment made on ICT infrastructure continues to transform the lives of our citizens and make the Rwandan business environment even more attractive and competitive. We are looking forward to seeing the first ten services online, as a success story in public service delivery in Africa unfolds here within Rwanda. Even as all services shall be provided at a single point of access, accessible 24 hours/7 days via Internet and mobile devices, as we kick off the project for the next twenty-five years, we acknowledge the importance of a quick-win within the first phase of implementation.”
He added that the fact that Government is in a PPP with a local company should not be taken lightly as it is one of the first. It is a remarkable time for the government, citizens and the private sector as we aspire to become a connected Government whilst inspiring citizens and grooming vibrant businesses.
The Government of Rwanda is committed to developing a vibrant IT Eco-system through partnerships with local companies since they are better placed to develop innovative, homegrown solutions that address local challenges.
Irene Ndikumwenayo, Ag. CEO of RwandaOnline said: “The RwandaOnline platform is designed with citizens and businesses’ interests in mind. In the short term, it will provide tangible results such as reducing the amount of time spent waiting in line, streamlining requirements for the application process, and increasing accountability on the Government. In the longer term, it will heighten expectations of government service delivery---making Rwanda a model for the rest of the continent”