Last week, government rolled out several activities that will be implemented to strengthen the country’s democratic practices.
The five-year programme will receive a basket fund of $26 million (about Rwf17b) from One UN.
The programme has four main components; inclusive participation, institutional accountability, evidence based public governance, and capacity building of national authorities in order to improve their service delivery.
This came just days after local and central government leaders signed new performance contracts, better known as Imihigo, with the President, for the fiscal year 2013/14.
This year’s Imihigo are unique because they come in the first year of the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) agenda.
The activities that will be implemented under this round of Imihigo include production of more energy, construction of more roads, increasing mineral exploitation, increasing agricultural production, creating more jobs for the youth, building potable water plants, and investments in education and health sectors.
As local leaders set out to implement this programme, we should encourage community participation. We should discard the belief that the government is responsible for every undertaking.
Local leaders should rally local communities behind these development programmes and ensure local ownership.
The world over, government alone can hardly provide everything to the citizenry.
Governments provide the necessary infrastructure and a conducive environment to enable the citizens to contribute to the development of their communities.
While the government has a central role to play, community ownership of development initiatives remains indispensable.