A Rwanda Senate committee has shown that some Rwandans sent to work in some African countries end up doing jobs which are not in line with their hire contracts, while others are denied working permits.
The committee report presented this Wednesday showed that this was happening to Rwandans sent to Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR) and in South Sudan.
This was one of the many issues presented this Wednesday in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee report that indicated several challenges faced by Rwandans living abroad and their role in national development.
Without divulging much detail of what is happening on ground, the committee said that Rwandans hired to work in Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR) had complained of being given job descriptions contrary to what they were hired for.
In South Sudan, Rwandans had complained of not getting working permits easily in the northern state where Rwandan forces are serving as peacekeepers which is contrary to the fact that South Sudan citizens living in Rwanda easily get work permits.
Committee chairperson Sen. John Bonds Bideri said the issue was tabled to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and told that the ministry is aware and will work on it in collaboration with the Private Sector Federation (PSF) or via diplomatic approaches.
Following the cases of many having been expelled in neighboring countries due to lack of Identifications, Senator Epiphanie Kanziza inquired on the security of Rwandans living in countries like Uganda but have no identifications.
Committee Chairman, Sen. Bideri said the Rwandan embassy has started consular services despite the improved relationship between Rwanda and Uganda.
Lack of Local Information and Irembo services
The report showed that Rwandans cannot get access to Irembo services due to lack of national identifications and local phone numbers- which are required when applying for government services on the Irembo platform.
“This is because the Diaspora cannot get identity services at their embassies and also cannot open accounts on Irembo platform because many don’t have Rwandan numbers and IDs. So they asked that these services should be limited to numbers and IDs,” Bideri said.
The fact that the Diaspora cannot access Irembo services, which are used to electronically declare taxes and incomes; this makes it hard for some to pay taxes and contribute to the domestic incomes and in most cases some are caught up by delayed service response (in Rwanda) due to time zones.
Senator Hadidja Murangwa said that the government should improve and ease all electronic services offered to diaspora and not only limit it to Irembo services.
The committee said that the issue of IDs for Diaspora will be solved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, Senator Murangwa said that there is need for an extra check because the ID is a specific document to Rwanda and thus needs to have extra background checks and precautions.
Students in the Diaspora especially in South Korea and China also reported that there is not enough information on Rwanda and most information on local websites is outdated- which makes it hard for them to do research thus asking for updated information on government sites.
Rwanda’s Diaspora Global Network (RDGN) is considered as the country’s 6th province (after the City of Kigali and Four Provinces) which play a crucial role in the country’s development thus the need to have the same pace of implementation of policy and national strategies.
Currently, there are 68 Rwanda Community Abroad (RCA) Associations across the globe: Africa (32), Europe (22), Asia (8), America (4), and Oceania (2).
Senator André Twahirwa said that RDGN website, which was an info portal for the Diaspora has stopped working for the last three years and the report currently shows that nothing has been done, which calls for a revamp since it has been a major link for the Diaspora and Rwanda.