MPs in the Lower Chamber of Parliament yesterday started a ten-day tour across the country to assess both government and privately initiated projects that have been driving economic development of citizens over the last seven years.
The visits, which will be held in each of the country’s 30 districts from yesterday up to January 21, are in line with Parliament’s mandate to assess government programmes and the MPs will draw recommendations on how to strengthen the projects for sustainable progress.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jeanne d’Arc Uwimanimpaye, told The New Times that the trips will help the legislators to witness first-hand the economic development of the country over the last seven years and also encourage citizens to keep up the momentum.
“We want to look at the whole picture of economic development in the country and come up with some ideas on how to strengthen it. We will be looking at whether different development projects initiated by the government and members of the private sector have brought improvements to people’s lives and how the later can be more involved to sustain the development,” she said in an interview.
The legislators will be looking at different development initiatives such as electrification projects, water supply, development of roads and markets, as well as youth employment projects such as the construction of small-and-medium enterprise centres locally called udukiriro.
Among other initiatives that are also on the MPs’ watch list on the field are community development initiatives such as modernised rural settlement in model villages, community health centres, small industries and modernised agriculture projects such as agricultural irrigation and mechanisation.
The development projects have been rolled out across the country under the current government’s seven-year programme and second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), both of which will end with the financial year 2017-2018.
The MPs will also be looking at District Development Plans to assess how they are implemented and provide advice on how to improve on their delivery.
In Kigali City’s Kicukiro District where MPs Emmanuel Mudidi, Nura Nikuze, and Agnès Mukazibera were deployed yesterday for the first day of the trip, traders in Gahanga Sector shared their experiences working in a newly built market and one small–and–medium enterprise centre.
Some of the citizens called for continued fine-tuning on the construction of Gahanga market while those working from the enterprise centre urged district officials to bring more traders to work from the newly built centre.
“Our fellow businesspeople should join us here. The call to work from this area should be heeded by everyone so that clients can find us at the same place,” said Emmanuel Sekanukunze who is in carpentry business at Gahanga enterprise centre.
He and fellow trader Clarisse Mukabaranga complained that many traders in the district are still working from residential areas and buildings instead of joining the newly-built centre, which makes it hard for those already working from the centre to get clients.
“There is still a problem of dispersed workshops. It would be nice if all the dealers in carpentry and furniture joined us here at the centre so we can be at the same address for clients,” Mukabaranga said.
The lawmakers’ on-going tour is part of routine outreach trips that they make every year to get a picture of the population’s lives and devise recommendations to the government on how to improve on their welfare.