Early this month, I wrote about some of the spectacular triumphs the government has made in the fields of reformation, reconciliation, reconstruction and regional stability in the last fifteen years.
But all this good news was soured by the one thought I constantly had; I kept thinking “what were our duties as citizens towards the wellbeing of our nation, Rwanda and how could we be part of achieving the government’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Vision 2020”?
After years of reviving the economy, most especially towards poverty alleviation, the Government in 2007 reintroduced on a long-standing cultural practice called Imihigo (Performance contract) whereby two parties publicly commit themselves to the achievement of a particular task.
Failing to meet these public commitments leads to dishonour, not only for the individual party but for the community.
Since 2006, Imihigo have been signed at the local government level with district, sector, cell, and Umudugudu (village) officials (2007), as well as at the household level (2008), and now at the individual level.
Favourable weather conditions, improved seeds and better crop husbandry combined to raise food production in Rwanda last year by 16 percent, boosting food security.
The good performance of the agricultural sector is mainly attributed to the government’s bold move of implementing the green revolution programme.
Data from Rwanda’s Agricultural Development Authority indicates that in 2008, average yields of maize per acre reached a record seven tones.
In January, the IFC announced it would double investment in agriculture sectors across Africa in 2010 to $468 million from $189 million in 2009.
According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), increased food production in 2008 led to an improvement in the daily consumption of kilo-calories to 2,176, compared with the 2,100 globally recommended daily requirement.
But as we recognize these successes, one ought to ask what he/she has contributed. It would be a pity for a year to elapse without realising any positive change in your home.
As the saying goes “God helps those who help themselves,” the government can also help those who are toiling to help themselves.
Achieving the country’s goals is a role of both the government and its citizens.
The author is a journalist with The New Times