Leaders should dwell more on service delivery rather than seek to consolidate their positions in power.
The message was delivered during the International Symposium on Accountable Governance and Decentralisation in Kigali yesterday.
The two-day meeting attended by ministers, other government officials and over 300 participants from around the world, focused on sharing experiences in good governance practices.
“Leadership is about action, not positions,” Shahrill Aj, a political trainer from Singapore told the conference.
“The people must feel the leader’s work in their daily lives. That is why decentralising power is important,” he added.
The Minister for Public Service and Labour, Anastase Murekezi, said leadership inefficiency leads to resource misallocation which, in turn, slows down development.
“Developing countries must scale down their expenses, cut down their wage bills to at least below 25 per cent of their total revenue and ensure that resources help the people they are meant to help,” Murekezi said.
Khabele Matlosa, the African Union Director of Political Affairs, challenged citizens to always demand for accountability from their leaders.
“Citizens should not sit back and wait for their leaders to deliver on their promises. They should instead demand for results. Very many leaders find that power is sweet and forget to deliver. They therefore need to be questioned,” he said.
The CEO of Rwanda Governance Board, Anastase Shyaka, told the participants that the overall goal of decetralisation is to deepen grassroots democracy and promote equitable distribution of resources.
“Through decentralising power, the government intends to empower citizens and make them able to determine how they are governed,” Shyaka said.
“Given Rwanda’s history of a long and highly centralised and dictatorial rule prior to 1994, it is laudable that in a period of 13 years of decentralisation, Rwanda has developed a fairly strong governance system with capable leadership, functioning district councils and equipped administrative structures,” he added.
The conference was organised under the theme: “Celebrating Achievements for a decade of decentralisation in Rwanda.’’ It was organised by Rwanda Governance Board.