Local governance varsity in the offing


Murasi (L), Ralga chief Theogene Karake and Col Rutaremara (R) during the signing of the agreement yesterday. (J. Mbonyinshuti)

Rwanda Local Government Association (Ralga) is in the final stages of its plan to set up a varsity that will focus on delivering local governance studies in a bid to build capacity of local leaders.

Ralga officials made the announcement yesterday during an event where the association agreed on a capacity building programme with the Rwanda Peace Academy based in Musanze District.

The Ralga officials said the school, which will be owned by the association, will mainly target local leaders in various domains but other interested people will also join.

Innocente Murasi, the Ralga capacity building manager, said the institution would help build capacity for local leaders to enable them discharge their duties effectively.

“The university will offer a masters degree programme, which will be composed of different modules. Students will undergo credit courses and once they complete credits equivalent to masters they will be offered their degree,” said Murasi.

“We want to make local governance a career. Many join local government with bachelor’s degrees in other areas, and when they go for masters, they study domains that do not help them fulfill their duties,” she said.

Murasi said the idea has been developed and they are on track to start the varsity, adding that courses have been developed and other necessary documents are being collected.

“I can say that we are on track and the construction of the new institution is among priorities in our planning,” she added saying that they intend to work closely with the University of Rwanda in terms of human resource.

The application seeking accreditation will be submitted to the High Education Council in the next three months, and once they get the approval, the institution would take off two months later.

Murasi said they have enough land in different areas but they are still discussing where the varsity will be constructed.

“The process will be gradual. Although the initiative is ours, we will have partnership with the University of Rwanda even as we maintain right of curricula. We will mainly focus on local governance studies and welcome local leaders first, but other people interested will also be welcomed as local leaders have affiliate employees who can get interested,” she said.

Murasi said they will also discuss with district officials on how the tuition can be subsidised, and also interest development partners that support local government in supporting the varsity.

Meanwhile, the memorandum of understanding signed with RPA sought to strengthen working system in exchanging skills between two institutions.

Col Jill Rutaremara, the director of Rwanda Peace Academy, said the memorandum will help boost skills exchange between the two institutions.

Ralga officials said the agreement will help uplift the envisaged institution by working closely with the academy they said is experienced in research and training.