New scheme to empower local leaders

Government has designed a new programme to enable local leaders get training from their respective districts instead of having to travel to Kigali.
NCBS executive secretary Antonia Mutoro (right) addresses participants as Minaloc’s permanent secretary Vincent Munyeshyaka looks on at the meeting in Kigali yesterday. (John Mbanda
NCBS executive secretary Antonia Mutoro (right) addresses participants as Minaloc’s permanent secretary Vincent Munyeshyaka looks on at the meeting in Kigali yesterday. (John Mbanda

Government has designed a new programme to enable local leaders get training from their respective districts instead of having to travel to Kigali.

The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) says 30 consultant coaches will be sent in all 30 districts of the country to offer training as part of efforts to accelerate implementation of government development initiatives.

The move comes in the third phase of decentralisation process.

The coaches will work under  the auspices of a two-year project aimed at addressing capacity constraints at individual, organisational and institutional levels, which RGB sees as a stumbling block to the achievement of the country’s Vision 2020.

They have been selected through open bidding and the criteria included having at least a Bachelors’ degree and five years of experience in a relevant field or local government and development institutions.

The project coordinator, Benjamin Ndahirwa, said they are committed to supporting local leaders achieve development goals. 

“The pilot study carried out in 10 districts of the country in 2011 yielded good results, especially in terms of performance contracts. We will empower them by providing relevant and required skills in their daily activities,” he said.

Ndahirwa was speaking at the launch of the programme yesterday.

Amb. Fatuma Ndangiza, the Deputy Executive Director RGB, said the move aims at achieving development goals.

“The coaching programme will empower local leaders in terms of planning, monitoring and evaluation of development projects.  It is an on-job learning and training approach that will address relevant issues affecting the implementation of profitable projects,” she noted.

Ndangiza said service delivery is an issue that requires more attention in this programme as it affects the performance of all sectors.

In the new programme, districts are encouraged to strengthen investment-oriented market and increase tax base and revenue.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Vincent Munyeshyaka, said local leaders have to take advantage of this programme to boost their economic development.

“Only 15 per cent of district budgets is generated locally. Now about 50 per cent of the National Budget is mobilised locally through taxes. Since our target is at least 70 per cent of the National budget in 2017, districts should widen their tax base,” he said.

He added that coaches and districts have to work as a team since they will equally be responsible  in case the project fails.

The coaching programme will last for two years and a $1.9 million (Rwf1.35 billion) grant from UNDP has been allocated for its implementation.

The programme comes as one of mechanisms to help achieve EDPRS 2 and Vision 2020, development agendas.

 

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