Rwanda to digitise public service recruitment

04Dec 2019
The Guardian
Rwanda to digitise public service recruitment

The Government of Rwanda is set to set up an integrated e-recruitment system through which job applications, written interviews and marking will be conducted, the Prime Minister has said.

Rwandan Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente speaking at the forum.

Edouard Ngirente said that the project, which is expected to be completed in one year, is designed to curb irregularities in the process of recruiting public servants. He made the disclosure on Monday while presenting the Government’s ICT agenda in line with facilitating a knowledge-based economy, to a joint session of both chambers of parliament.

“The project is being developed but we think it will take about 12 months for us to have reached a level at which people can apply for job online, do exam (s) and immediately see whether they have passed or failed,” he said. He said his office was working with the Ministry of Public Service and Labour on the project.

“We are considering the required equipment, and how the system can work. It will help check complaints addressed to the National Public Service Commission,” he said as he responded to a query from MP Chantal Mbakeshimama on the need for promoting transparency in the process to recruit public servants.

“Police issues driving permit exams digitally, it is a good service which the public rates as transparent. I would like to know how the same method can be implemented in public service recruitment such that a candidate leave the exam room knowing their marks,” she said. “It think this approach can reduce suspicion or even the injustice identified in various reports that we get.”

Ngirente said that the system will address malpractices that might result from the traditional method where a candidate does a written interview on a booklet, and marking is done physically. So far, only job applications are online whereby applicants do not have to take their documents to physical offices of the recruiting institutions.

In this fiscal year (2019/2020), the Ministry of Public Service and Labour allocated Rwf201.5 million towards developing and testing automated shortlisting and waiting list in e-recruitment system. The Premier said that a similar online system is being implemented by Rwanda National Police to issue driving permits in order to ease service delivery.

From May this year when the system started until October it has served 84,391 people, the Premier disclosed. “This technology has proved to prevent malpractices in the provision of the license. It has been operational in 18 districts, and it will soon be taken to the remaining districts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ngirente said that in order to reduce the distance that citizens used to make, save time and cost while seeking various services, in 2015, the Government introduced Irembo – a Government’s e-service portal, which currently provides 98 government services online.  As of June 2019, mobile money subscribers had risen to more than 11.9 million from more than 639.6 million in 2011, Ngirente said.

In addition, as a result of the e-service portal, mobile payment increased from slightly over Rwf1,000 billion in 2015 to Rwf2,000 billion in 2018, according to the Prime Minister. According to Rwanda’s ICT Sector Profile 2018, as of December 2018, the Rwandan population accessed the Internet at the rate of 52 per cent while mobile cellular phone subscription reached at 82.1 per cent.