Safety and security, for 10 times in a row, ranked the highest performing pillar in Rwanda Governance Scorecard (RGS) 2023, released by the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB). The report indicates that safety and security scored 93.6 per cent, a decline from 95.5 per cent in 2022. This is derived from indicators like maintaining security, national security, personal and property, reconciliation, social cohesion, and unity. Launched on October 31, RGS tracks and assesses the country’s performance in relation to its national, regional, and global governance commitments. The report is based on key pillars of governance in the country, namely; the rule of law, political rights and civil liberties, participation and inclusiveness, safety, and security. Including also; investing in human and social development, quality of service delivery, economic and corporate governance, as well as anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability. Usta Kaitesi, Chief Executive Officer of RGB, said the continuous performance of safety and security is fundamentally based on the trust that people have towards the security organs in the country as well as the professionalism of this sector. According to her, the element of professionalism can also be seen where security personnel who indulge in misconduct face punishment, something that other sectors should be keen on. The report shows that people’s confidence level in Rwanda Defence Force is at 99.6 per cent whereas in Rwanda National Police, it is at 97.5 per cent. Satisfaction with personal and property security is at 90.8 per cent and 69.8 per cent, respectively. On the performance decline compared to 2022, Kaitesi mentioned that it was due to different theft cases reported by people in the last months. Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Resident Coordinator, said this report represents an important document on which development partners can continue strategic dialogue with the government and a number of areas that remain of concern for the citizens were identified. “Need to reduce backlog cases in judiciary” As the public’s trust in the judiciary system of Rwanda increases, there is a need to reduce the amount of backlog cases in court to enhance the rule of law in the country. ALSO READ: New policy on alternative justice to help reduce backlog in courts In terms of the rule of law, the country stands at 88.8 per cent with the performance of the judiciary rated at 79.5 per cent as a key indicator. From the data collected, citizens expressed trust in the judiciary at 90.7 per cent, however, the percentage of backlog cases is still high at 22.54 per cent compared to a target of reducing them to 13.3 per cent. Kaitesi said that the number of backlog cases remains a hindrance to the judiciary sector’s performance, noting that some key solutions such as the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms of mediation put in place by the government have contributed to the slight reduction. The report also recommended that the judiciary needs to continuously devise strategies to expedite the processing of court cases and put in place mechanisms to sustain improvements achieved.