The government has launched a set of programmes that will be implemented in the next five years to strengthen democratic practices. The programmes include media development, access to justice, rule of law, human rights, among others.
The programmes will receive a basket fund of $26 million (about Rwf17b) from One UN expected to be aligned with the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) that will be implemented in the same time period.
“The joint programme has four main components including; inclusive participation, institutional accountability, evidence based public governance and capacity building of national authorities in order to improve their service delivery,” Prof Anastase Shyaka, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board, said at the launch on Wednesday.
Distribution of programme
Shyaka said the first part of the programme, including access to justice, human rights and peace consolidation, will mainly be implemented by Ministry of Justice, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Rwanda National Police, and the National Commission for Human Rights.
The second part of the programme; deepening democracy and accountability, will be implemented by Parliament, Media High Council, National Forum for Political Organisations, National Electoral Commission, and Rwanda Governance Board.
The Minister for Local Government, James Musoni, said government will ensure that the programmes trickle down to the ordinary citizens by ensuring that the available resources are used efficiently.
“Deepening democracy and government accountability are imbedded in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy. With resources available from UN, these programmes will be implemented with a better sense of urgency,” Musoni said.
“This is taking place during a high season in Rwanda’s democratisation process, where the parliamentary elections have just been concluded. The feedback we are getting is that the elections went very well thanks to National Electoral Commission. The implementing institutions are all known for delivering on their mandate.”
The UN Resident Coordinator, Lamin Mamadouh Manneh, said UN decided to partner with government in this venture due to the latter’s commitment to advance democratic practices as indicated in the Rwanda Governance Scorecard 2012.
The scorecard, launched in July, shows that most indicators of development like rule of law, safety and security improved.
“A lot still remains to be done. This is why One UN and the Rwandan government put together these two programmes to focus on the areas in need of further improvement,” Manneh said.
“We shall among other things support the development of capacities of the media in line with Rwanda’s new media laws, improve case management system in the justice sector and strengthen the capacity of oversight authorities to carry out their mandates,” he added.
The programmes will be implemented until June 2018 and will be monitored through annual and quarterly reports indicating the milestones reached.