The Mayor of Kigali City, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, and her Paris counterpart, Anne Hidalgo, yesterday signed a cooperation agreement to enable officials from the two cities learn from each other.
Under the agreement, officials from the two cities will benefit from exchanges about best practices in different areas aimed at the promotion of sustainable urban development.
The areas of focus in the agreement include issues of historic archives and memory, protection of the environment, innovation and ICTs, citizen participation, culture and sports, and delivering public services to city residents.
Rwakazina said that Kigali has a lot to learn from Paris, especially in the areas of fundraising from members of the private sector in order to ensure that the city relies less on central government funding for both income generating projects and social support services.
“We are very happy for this partnership and we hope to achieve a lot of good things together. We have a lot to learn from each other,” she said.
The Mayor of Kigali City, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo exchange the documents of the agreement in Kigali yesterday. / Sam Ngendahimana
In a brief meeting with the Mayor of Paris at the City of Kigali office, Mayor Rwakazina revealed, it became clear that officials from both cities have a lot to learn from each other.
While she has interest in learning about how Paris raises money to fund social services programmes, her Paris counterpart said that Paris can learn from Kigali how to fast implement programmes aimed at developing the city.
“The speed at which Kigali is transforming is of high interest for us,” she said, singling out the efficiency of governance in the city that brings about fast transformation.
She said that she was especially amazed at Kigali’s efforts to protect the environment, include different social groups in the city’s development, and the planning approach of using annual performance contracts.
Hidalgo said that cooperation with Kigali will help Paris learn a lot in the area of governance with regards to improving city administration aimed at fast delivery of services.
“In the future, it will be very critical to be able to move fast because in the 21st century everything moves very fast and the speed with which Kigali is transforming will help inspire us in Paris in terms of how we can move faster not only in terms of the administration of the city but also in the area of political decisions,” she said.
Since Sunday, the mayor of Paris is in Kigali to attend a meeting of more than 100 mayors from French-speaking cities across the world.
They have gathered for the 89th meeting of the Bureau of the International Association of French-speaking mayors (AIMF), an organisation to which they are members.
Hidalgo opened the four-day meeting yesterday in her capacity as current President of the association and many participants at the forum highlighted the importance for AIMF members to regularly share their experiences.
AIMF stands for Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (French for the International Association of French-speaking mayors), which is a worldwide network of locally elected French-speaking city officials working together to share experiences and shape the vision of a city of tomorrow that brings sustainable and shared growth.