Government names parastatals to relocate to secondary cities

Minister Gatete speaks during the meeting yesterday. Courtesy.

The Government has decided that some of its institutions will be relocated to upcountry towns in order to spur economic activity in secondary cities in line with promoting inclusive development and improve services to citizens.

The explanation was given by the Minister for Infrastructure, Claver Gatete, during a post-Cabinet meeting press conference held in Kigali on Tuesday.

Among other resolutions, a Cabinet meeting held on Monday approved the relocation of some public institutions to secondary cities, a decision that is expected to improve how the government uses its resources to achieve the institutions’ goals and also boost activities in the upcountry towns.

“It is not fair for Kigali to host all the public institutions. We need to develop the whole country; not only Kigali,” Gatete said as he explained the government’s decision to relocate the institutions.

Among those to be relocated include those that will be moved to Huye District include Rwanda Agriculture Development Board (RAB), the Higher Education Council (HEC), the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR), many services of the National Industrial and Research Development Agency (NIRDA), and the Workforce Development Authority (WDA).

Those to be relocated to Musanze District include the National Itorero Commission (NIC), the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), and the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC).

Muhanga District will be the new home for the Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA) and the Rwanda Management Institute while headquarters of the National Rehabilitation Service (NRS) will be relocated to Karongi District.

Minister Gatete said that the government has until December this year to finalise plans for the institutions’ relocation, explaining that some of them will occupy already existing public buildings while facilities will be arranged for those that won’t have a place to work from.

“We will fast-track the process to relocate the institutions now that a decision has been made,” the minister said.

He explained that the decision was made after considering that moving some of the government institutions to secondary cities across the country would help boost their development.

In some cases, the institutions can also share resources available in some cities such as government buildings that remain idle as well as already existing research centres and a concentration of higher education institutions in some cities.

The relocation is part of the resolutions of the 15th Leadership Retreat of 2018, which pitched the idea as part of supporting the development and expansion of secondary cities.

The six secondary cities designated by the government include Musanze in Northern Province, Nyagatare in Eastern Province, Huye and Muhanga in Southern Province, and Rubavu and Rusizi in Western Province.

They are expected to spur urban development outside of Kigali, through equitably distributing economic activities across the country, and hence enable inclusive development and reduce the number of people who move to the capital city looking for jobs and better services.