The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has handed over its ICT responsibilities to the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), a newly created institution that will be in charge of ICT skills development, creation and innovation of new products and technical work.
RDB CEO Clare Akamanzi said that the creation of an independent agency was long overdue for the government to fast-track its ambitious programme of digitalizing Rwanda. Yet she clarified that RDB will still be in charge of business activities regarding ICT, such as lobbying investors and marketing new ICT products abroad.
“All the business aspects will remain with RDB,” Akamanzi said. “RISA will be in charge of the digitalization programme of the country as Rwanda strives to be one of the ICT model nations in Africa. For instance, CCTV, the Irembo project, cyber security, new technologies and infrastructure development will be shouldered by RISA.”
The RDB chief further pledged to work closely with RISA in a complementary manner.
Innocent Muhizi, the CEO of RISA, said that the organisation’s core mission is to simplify the certification process in Rwanda.
“We shall try our level best to make the process of getting certificates related to movements, birth certificates etc. simpler,” he said.
Muhizi further noted that RISA will embark on building the capacity through training, and added that the task ahead is enormous and that RISA will need the patronage of RDB.
“We’re embarking on an ambitious journey in ICT and we hope RDB will continue to support and parent us as we start the foundation of digitalization of Rwanda,” he noted.
Regarding cyber security and crime, Muhizi said that Rwanda is doing well and is second only to Mauritius in Africa. He called on people to know how they can protect themselves against risks of cyber crime.
Last year, the government of Rwanda invested $3 million in cyber security and there is a plan to set up an independent government agency that will exclusively handle cyber security.