The Secretary General of the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA), Mr Ladislas Ngendahimana, has said that; local e-governance is about connecting citizens with their leaders and ensuring efficiency and accountability for development.

He made these remarks while meeting with the officials from Cameroon and who are in Rwanda to attend the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2022 being held in Kigali (Rwanda) from 6th to 16th June 2022.

The delegation from Cameroon comprised of Mr Emile Lando, from the German Technical Cooperation Office in Cameroon together with officials from both the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and that of Decentralization and Local Development.

Their participation was facilitated by the Support program for Municipal Development (GIZ/PROMUD) in Cameroon.

The meeting focused on sharing experience ICT development process for local governance; learning about ICT solutions implemented for better citizen participation processes in Rwanda; how institutional support can impact digital literacy and citizen participation; success factors and challenges in the development of ICT solutions and how decentralization and ICT institutions collaborate to foster digital development processes in Rwanda.

The Secretary General of RALGA said that; local e-governance is about service delivery, good governance, citizen participation as well as transparency and accountability, among others, as enablers of socioeconomic development.

“Rwanda is an open society. With countrywide installed fiber optic with full 4G internet connectivity, with broadband internet being among basic utilities and the law on access to information in place, Rwanda has all it takes for citizen participation through ICT tools”, Ladislas Ngendahimana said.

“With the Rwanda’s citizen centered Leadership’s commitment to service delivery and public private partnership, all basic public services are accessible online via Irembo (www.irembo.gov.rw) platform, and civil registration and vital statistics are administered remotely in all public and private health facilities”, he added.

The Secretary General of RALGA touched on innovations and benefits of ICT in governance, whereby the City of Kigali has introduced the virtual “Community assembly meetings”, where leaders meet the citizens virtually for mobilization, complaints resolutions and accountability purposes. He also pointed out the role of ICT in identifying citizens’ priorities which are considered in local and national planning and budgeting.

Above all, he said; “citizen empowerment and political will to ensure access to ICT infrastructure and affordable services are key to citizen participation through ICT. Rwanda has empowered both the citizens and their leaders for accountability and connectivity. Connect Rwanda Challenge to ensure every household has access to a smartphone and digital ambassadors who keep educating the citizens in their respective communities. Decentralized taxes and fees are declared, paid and accounted digitally using computers or mobile phones.”

“It is all about citizen-centered leadership and quest for efficiency”, he emphasized.