Emulating Rwanda’s best practices for regional development

Lawmakers within the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have called on their regional counterparts to emulate some of Rwanda’s best home-grown practices. This indeed is not only good news to hard-working Rwandans, but also a vote of confidence in the never tiring national leadership. The best practices mentioned by the EAC legislators include; the monthly community cleaning service ‘Umuganda’, the semi traditional courts ‘Gacaca’ and the National Dialogue conferences. Umuganda has gained prominence in Rwanda in that it attracts the entire country’s citizenry, right from the First Family, to the person down in the village. It is the traditional last Saturday of each month that Rwandans take a break from work, to clean their communities. The National Dialogue model was proposed for adoption by the EAC Council of Ministers, as a way of deepening and fostering debate within the region.

Lawmakers within the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have called on their regional counterparts to emulate some of Rwanda’s best home-grown practices.

This indeed is not only good news to hard-working Rwandans, but also a vote of confidence in the never tiring national leadership.

The best practices mentioned by the EAC legislators include; the monthly community cleaning service ‘Umuganda’, the semi traditional courts ‘Gacaca’ and the National Dialogue conferences.

Umuganda has gained prominence in Rwanda in that it attracts the entire country’s citizenry, right from the First Family, to the person down in the village. It is the traditional last Saturday of each month that Rwandans take a break from work, to clean their communities.

The National Dialogue model was proposed for adoption by the EAC Council of Ministers, as a way of deepening and fostering debate within the region.

This according to Ugandan legislator, MP Nusura Tiperu, would enable the EAC to fully utilize its abundant natural and human resources.

Not only did the legislators who made the recommendations see Rwanda’s best practices as a means of capacitating the regional body; they also viewed this as a way of fostering people driven policies, among the EAC member states.

The three mentioned above, while they touch on different areas of Rwandan life, are underpinned by the need to have Rwandan communities carry out mutually beneficial activities amongst themselves.

From keeping their streets clean, to formulating progressive policies, that advance their society. They also create a linkage between what citizens aspire for at one level and the national leadership’s policy direction, at another. 

Maybe what the regional parliamentarians left out was the Ubudehe, the all inclusive development programme where all citizens participate in deciding on the pressing issues pertaining to the development of their community.

Rwanda’s Ubudehe programme last year received the ‘Better management-better public service’, United Nations Award, beating over 150 countries that had participated.

Let the EAC integrate home-grown initiatives to solve problems faced by most of its 120 million populace and achieve sustainable development. We have learnt in Rwanda this is possible, why not elsewhere?

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