Digitizing Citizen Services in Rwanda

06.04.2023

In Rwanda, there are 100 online citizen services available at your fingertips. A publicly-owned startup called Irembo was established to digitize these services and receives a small portion of the fee. During my visit to the startup last year, I was impressed with their work and the speed of digitizing citizen services. Check it out here: Link

One remarkable aspect is the innovative public-private partnership that enabled this achievement. Irembo has a 25-year agreement with the government to collaborate with agencies in digitizing and maintaining public services on a unified platform.

Public Digital also has a nice blog post on the history behind Irembo. Over 100 services are available online, yet they comprise merely a fraction, a mere 20%, of the extensive array of public services accessible in Rwanda. The primary focus now revolves around selecting the optimal architecture, framework, and business model to facilitate the decentralized construction and introduction of services on our platform. The primary objective is to prioritize rapid releases to guarantee that each enhancement materializes within hours rather than elongated periods of weeks or months.

For example, when a hospital registers a birth online, parents are able to download a birth certificate within hours. The process used to require 4 physical journeys, 3 public offices, 2 supporting documents and would often take a minimum of 4 days—and that’s if you were aggressive about it getting done. Source: Public Digital

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