The Rwanda Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) has partnered with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to organize a capacity development workshop focused on digital government and national data governance framework.
The workshop, which began on March 22 at Kigali Convention Center and will continue until March 23, has brought together local and international stakeholders from government and private institutions in the ICT sector.
According to Gordon Kalema, Director General in Charge of Digital Transformation at MINICT, the workshop is focusing on three critical areas: the digital infrastructure development index, the online service index, and the data governance framework.
The digital infrastructure development index looks at how infrastructure can be developed in the country to enhance ICT and innovation, while the online service index examines how policies can be implemented to ensure that all services are issued online.
The data governance framework focuses on developing data infrastructure in a way that ensures security and privacy for citizens.
Kalema emphasized that the workshop aims to build capacity for both government and private institutions and to share best practices from other countries through expert facilitators.
“The three areas of focus for the workshop are already being implemented in Rwanda.
The government has invested in 4G infrastructure and has set up a new broadband policy that prioritizes developing infrastructure for quality and affordable internet access for all citizens,” Kalema said, adding that most services are now available online through Irembo, and the government is aiming to put all remaining services online by 2024.
He also mentioned that Rwanda has implemented data privacy and protection laws, which will be discussed during the workshop to explore effective implementation strategies.
Other topics for discussion include smartphone penetration, digital literacy as well as local content development in a way that is more effective.
Leila Rwagasana, Director of Partnerships at Irembo, added that the workshop will help disseminate knowledge to their agents and improve their platform’s services.
She said they aim to increase digital literacy and train their staff and users to add more services and innovations, mobilizing those with internet-connected devices to help others.
According to Rwagasana, the platform has already improved access to services, with faster and more convenient options through mobile phones or nearby agents.
“Payments are also easier with mobile money and card options, reducing the risk of corruption. Even Rwandans in the diaspora can now pay through the platform,” she said.
According to Wai Min Kwok, Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer in the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government at UN DESA, it is crucial to ensure that no one is left behind or offline since ICT provides benefits across various sectors and disciplines.
He stressed the importance of government working with various stakeholders, such as the private sector, civil society, and the UN, to collectively promote and reap the benefits of digitization.
This approach, he said, ensures that all individuals, including vulnerable groups, have access to digital services and opportunities.