Background and beliefs
I started my career as an entrepreneur when I founded AxIS, a software engineering services company back in 2005. Our goal was to help organisations in Rwanda – and throughout Africa – access business management software easily and affordably.
At the time I started AxIS, I hypothesised that by leveraging open source software, we would spend less time building technology and dedicate more time to leading the organisations through the change management process and adoption. Since then, a focus on adoption of technology has defined the work I’ve been involved in and it’s what I love to do.
Transforming public services in Rwanda
In 2013, I got the opportunity to do that at scale, when I was tasked to lead Irembo, the team leading the digital transformation of government services in Rwanda. Irembo’s mandate was to leverage technology and make government services easily accessible to Rwandan citizens.
The country had limited internet penetration (around 30% at the time we started the work) and as a result – the population had relatively low digital literacy. Of course, public services are for everyone and the challenge was to be as inclusive and as accessible as possible. We built technologies and designed business models that would make that possible for all Rwandans to adopt Irembo.
- put user needs first by mapping user journeys to better understand their need
- built technologies that were available to the majority of Rwandans such as SMS and USSD. We also integrated mobile money as a way to pay for government services
- formed a network of agents who helped citizens access devices and interact with digital services so Rwanda could ultimately close the digital literacy gap
Today, Irembo accounts for more than 80% of transactions between citizens and the government, with 300,000 Rwandans using the service monthly.