Rwanda’s innovative digital ID card project: Coordinated implementation, features, and future prospects

By Esther Muhozi
On 25 January 2024 at 11:21

According to the directive from the Minister of ICT and Innovation, the responsibility for the digital Identity (ID) card project has been assigned to four ministers, who are now part of the Coordinating Council overseeing its execution.

This official announcement, featured in the Official Gazette on January 23, 2024, emphasizes that the coordinating council, led by the Minister of ICT and Innovation, will supervise the implementation of the digital ID card project.

The composition of this council includes the Minister of Local Government (also the Vice President), the Director General of the National Identity Agency (Secretary), the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Health, the Director General of Immigration and Emigration, and the Chairperson of the Private Sector.

Addressing the challenges of scattered card and personal data storage, the SSDID system for Citizen’s Registration in Social Security ID has been introduced. This digital ID will store essential information such as facial photos, fingerprints, witness photos, names, birthdates, birthplaces, parental details, email addresses, phone numbers, and more.

Users can obtain this ID through traditional card issuance, on mobile devices or computers via a QR Code, and even share it with others. Ingabire Musoni Paula, the Minister of ICT and Innovation, has highlighted that the Rwandan government anticipates the system streamlining the delivery of various services.

The government asserts that the introduction of a new law pertaining to citizen registration through National Identity Card technology will enhance identity verification. This, in turn, is expected to optimize service provision in both the private and public sectors. The ambitious ID system project is set to receive an investment of over Rwf40 billion from the World Bank, with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation estimating a minimum of three years for the entire Rwandan population to obtain their digital identities once funds are secured.