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Rwandans Ready for Dialogue at 15th Umushyikirano

by Patrick Bigabo
4:26 pm

On Monday, Rwanda government officials will gather for the 15th National Dialogue at Kigali convention centre to discuss matters of national interest. It is usually broadcast live on state media and on internet 

Citizens both in and outside the country can phone in, text and via video conferencing contribute to the discussion through asking questions, forward complaints and also propose ideas. It’s locally known as Umushyikirano.

President Paul Kagame chairs and moderates the discussion. He seeks explanations from leaders and also condemns those implicated in erroneous engagements especially; poor service, corruption and mismanagement. 

From this discussion, it can be determined which leaders would be fired or appointed. For example a minister may fail to explain why a particular project failed to take off despite having all resources required- citizens would not be surprised to hear this minister dropped from cabinet weeks later.

Thousands of participants at the previous National Dialogue (Umushyikirano) at Kigali Convention centre

At the end of every National Dialogue, recommendations are agreed upon and their implementation would begin immediately. 

For example a citizen in rural Karongi district may send a SMS during the dialogue requesting for extension of electricity in their village and as this could end up among the recommendations.

During the 14th National Dialogue last year, President Kagame challenged his government to ensure that Rwanda graduates from donor dependence as soon as possible. He requested for a deadline to be set.

“Among decisions of thisUmushyikirano, we should resolve to set a deadline, which should come sooner rather than later, after which Rwanda will no longer be waiting for what others hand out to us,” the President said.

The National Dialogue is an interactive event. Participants pose questions, proposals and advise that all aims at nation building

Kagame said that Rwandans “are at a point in development where we can get this done if we really put our minds to the task.”

In June, Finance Minister Claver Gatete told parliament that only 17% of the 2017/18 fiscal year budget (Rwf2.09 trillion approx $2.58 billion) would be funded by donors especially where grants are concerned.

The 14th National Dialogue (Umushyikirano) ended with 12 recommendations. Tommorrow leaders will again meet for the 15th National Dialogue to review progress on the previously agreed recommendations. In case some of these recommendations are not completed, they may be carried forward.

1.      Setting a deadline for Rwanda to finance its national budget by 100%.

2.      Strengthening Rwanda’s unique governance and promoting culture of home grown solutions.

3.      Promoting partnerships between public institutions and parents, educationists, civil society, private sector, religious organizations among others.

4.      Promoting the ‘Made in Rwanda’ campaign to bolster local production.

5.      Improving service delivery both in public and private sectors.

6.      Extending to all districts the programs of the National Itorero Commission aimed at educating and training Rwandans on shared cultural values and taboos with a view to mobilising citizens to contribute towards national development.

7.      Preparing major irrigation projects in Eastern Province’s districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza, and Kirehe.

8.      Extending Electoral Commission services to the Diaspora.

9.      Consolidating Unity among Rwandans and fighting Genocide ideology among the Youth.

10.  Confronting activities abroad that promote negation and denial of against Genocide against Tutsi.

11.  Conducting detailed research on the challenge of trauma among survivors of genocide against Tutsi.

12.  To find solutions to bottle necks in implementing Gacaca court rulings in cases involving property vandalised during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

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