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Montag, 23.10.2017
eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

Innovation is a critical factor for digital revolution. Rwanda, which is currently implementing a fourth national digital plan – the Smart Rwanda Master Plan – is increasingly turning to innovative ways to boost its universal digital inclusion and literacy agenda.

Just last Friday, officials launched two major initiatives designed to enhance uptake of ICT solutions in the countryside. They are Tumba Smart Village Initiative and the Digital Ambassadors Programme” (DAP) – the former an effort to engage all stakeholders to collaboratively bridge the digital divide through different technological approaches to transform rural areas; while the latter seeks to introduce five million citizens to digital literacy and opportunities through the use of e-Government and e-Business services in the next three years.

With the help of Digital Ambassadors, locally known as Intore Mu Ikoranabuhanga, stakeholders want to train 5,000 youths who will subsequently take on the role of ‘digital ambassadors’ and in turn impart digital skills to five million Rwandans. Some of the districts to be covered by this initiative include Rulindo, Nyagatare, Nyarugenge, Gisagara and Rusizi.

The young people who will be trained to become digital ambassadors will receive digital, leadership and training skills to meaningfully contribute toward the ambition of turning Rwandans into a digital savvy people.

Today, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Government and Rwanda Online, the public can now easily access online more than 70 public services via the Irembo portal. The target is to have up to 100 government services accessed via the one-stop portal. Already, this has eased the process to seek vital public services.

The impact will be even more evident once stakeholders have successfully devised means to fully digitize government services and eliminate the requirement to physically visit a government agency to collect documents requested via Irembo. This will ensure efficiency, reliability and interoperability of government services, and eliminate travel and waiting time.

Nonetheless, these strides can hardly benefit all and sundry without achieving digital literacy. That’s why the newly launched Digital Ambassadors Programme is critical in helping digitise the country as the youths will help raise the capacity of illiterate members of the public to tap into the benefits of the digital agenda.

It is also encouraging that stakeholders are increasingly using off-grid power systems to extend digital services to areas that have no electricity. The launch of a solar powered facility that has an internet café and a clinic in Rulindo last week is a commendable effort and the model should be replicated elsewhere in the country.

It is through such innovations that the country will achieve its ambition of becoming a digital economy sooner rather than later.

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Quelle/Source: The New Times, 92.10.2017

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