Rwanda gets tough on SIM registration

04 October 2021

Operators in Rwanda are to implement new directives for SIM card registration in a move the country’s regulator said will curb fraud.

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said that users who wish to get a new SIM card or swap one, must go to their service providers or authorised agent.

Charles Gahungu, general manager ICT regulation department, RURA said the new procedure is will enhance SIM security and also includes ID verifications, because it will include ID verifications and also request photographs of the those buying or swapping SIMS.

Service providers must confirm that the national ID presented mirrors that of the ID housed in the National Identification Agency’s database.

“Literally, the SIM cards were being registered by only checking if the ID number exists, where the agents were able to activate the SIM card as long as they had an ID number,” Gahungu said. “This resulted in people having SIM cards registered on their IDs without their knowledge.

Under the new process, RURA can now track SIM card owners in a bid to curb fraudulent acts, including mobile money scams.

The regulator also reminded subscribers to carry out a regular check of SIM cards registered on their IDs. This can be done by dialling *125# and deregistering unrecognised SIMs.