During the monthly community work known as ‘Umuganda’ , Ernest Munyeshyaka, a resident of Jali sector – Gasabo district in the capital Kigali surprised many by publicly pinning a local leader for poor services at his office.
“I would like to publicly accuse our cell executive secretary of poor services. I have been visiting his office for two weeks now seeking a service in vain,” Munyeshyaka said amidst applause from hundreds of residents attending Umuganda.
Many incidences of poor services continue to be reported in both public and private offices across the country, despite efforts to improve the services sector – a big contributor to the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP).
As of last year, according to figures from National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, service sector contributed 48% to Rwanda’s $ 8.3 billion GDP in the second quarter of the year. This was bigger than the agriculture sector (33%), which employs more than 85% of the country’s 11.8 million population.
Last month, during the National leaders retreat, President Paul Kagame accused members of his government of ‘continuous negligence of duty’ – a challenge the President said the country has to overcome starting with the individual leaders.
Today, Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) – which oversees governance and service delivery in public sector, launched a campaign dubbed: ‘Nkuwikorera’ to be conducted across the country for the next 12 weeks.
The campaign seeks to improve citizen centered service delivery in private and public institutions.
According to RGB officials, the campaign will focus on different sectors including; health, hospitality, land issues, public transport, social protection, agriculture, among others. Line institutions will directly be involved in the campaign.
“Poor service delivery is a mindset problem and that is what the new ‘Nkuwikorera’ campaign seeks to change,” Dr. Usta Kayitesi, Deputy CEO of Rwanda Governance Board told journalists at RGB offices.
According to Prof. Anastase Shyaka, CEO of RGB, citizens’ satisfaction on service delivery is at 72% level but Rwanda’s target is 85% during the second phase of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRSII).
Will the campaign succeed?
In 2012, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) gathered heads of private and public institutions, including top government officials at Serena Hotel in the capital Kigali, to witness the launch of second version of a nationwide campaign dubbed “Na Yombi”, following the first one called “Gira Ubupfura”.
“Na Yombi” slogan means “Receive your clients warmly with both hands”.
The previous campaign; ‘Gira Ubupfura’ means politeness in Kinyarwanda. Under the two campaigns, RDB said it wanted to improve the capacity of Rwandans in the service sector including; tourism, private sector and government institutions.
However, the campaigns hit a snag. “As RGB launch this new campaign, they should first look at the loopholes that characterized the previous campaigns by Rwanda Development Board,” said John Gakire, a Kigali-based hospitality trainer.
Meanwhile, RGB officials said they are optimistic the new campaign, to be officially launched this Thursday, will yield tangible results.