Cells to get more powers in new local government structure

Bob Gakire, the Director General of the Directorate of Territorial Administration and Good Governance at the ministry of Local Government. / Net photo

After making major reforms in the City of Kigali, the Ministry of Local Government has announced that it will now take the restructuring drive to the Provinces, aimed to equip the Cell administration with the tools and capacity required to empower them to be the centers of local government service delivery.

Bob Gakire, the Director-General of the Directorate of Territorial Administration and Good Governance at the Ministry of Local Government, told The New Times that the decision is based on the decentralization policy assessment made in 2017/2018 where one of the recommendations was to overhaul the local government.

He pointed out that this recommendation was raised again at the end of the 2018 Leadership Retreat where it was agreed that cells would be restructured and given more powers.

Gakire explains that the reforms will be done based on the local context of the area and it’s structural and capacity development issues and the planning and coordination needs.

The process will shift the resources from districts to sectors and cells.

“The restructuring in the provinces will focus on lower administrative entities. We are finalizing the local government capacity development strategy which will inform what will be done in the next five years. It may, for instance, require the reduction of staff on the district level and instead increase them on the Sector and Cell levels,” he said.

Gakire said that by doing this, his ministry was hoping to fix some structural issues that are currently slowing down local government service delivery.

Gakire said that to achieve this, the cell will be boosted with human resource among other things.

“We can’t ask the Cell to deliver when it not restructured. As it is now, it has insufficient staff and lacks enough facilities. We will be required to increase the staff, we will need to provide facilities like the administrative offices, access to the internet, office equipment, and then skilled labor among others,” he said.

Addressing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Political Affairs and Gender Equality on the recent City of Kigali reforms, the Minister of Local Government; Anastase Shyaka said that any form of change in the structure of administrative entities is aimed at delivering more and doing it better.

“We continue to build even more people-centered and decentralized service delivery systems on the grassroots level,” he said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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