Rwanda has opened up bidding for the development of its single digital ID core and support modules, according to recent updates shared with lawmakers. The Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) is the purchaser of the project and has launched the bidding process, with the deadline for bids set for June 4th.

During a public hearing in parliament, officials from the ICT ministry, RISA and other bodies responded to questions on issues raised in the Auditor General’s 2023 financial report related to the project. The digital ID scheme is supported by $40 million in funding from the World Bank as part of the Rwanda Digital Acceleration Project, with the overall sum of around $200 million.

The bidding process was launched on April 17 and the deadline for bids to be submitted is June 4, according to the tender announcement published by RISA.

The public hearing with members of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee was a moment during which officials of the ICT ministry, RISA and other bodies responded to questions on issues raised in the Auditor General’s 2023 financial report related to the project.

In an interview last year, Rwanda’s ICT Minister Paula Ingabire spoke at length about the digital ID program, saying biometric enrollment for it was imminent.

During the hearing, MPs raised concerns about delays in the implementation of the project, questioning why the plan to have 60 percent of Rwandans registered for the digital ID, as outlined in the 2022/2023 budget, was not realized.

In response, Muhizi said two phases of the project have already been completed and they were now working on the third which is pre-enrollment. This involves testing the system to make it ready for the production of cards, he said. The digital ID component of the project is supposed to be completed within a period of three years.

The digital ID scheme is supported by $40 million in funding from the World Bank as part of the Rwanda Digital Acceleration Project with the overall sum of around $200 million. Officials say the digital ID will be in two kinds, namely a printed card and an unprinted version. The system will include issuing digital IDs to newborns, which will be linked to their birth registration profiles. Biometrics to be collected include face, fingerprints and iris.