Rwanda’s justice sector on Tuesday got a boost in an Euro 9.3 million (Rwf9.4bn) from the Kingdom of Netherlands in a grant agreement signed between the State Minister for Economic Planning, Claudine Uwera and the Dutch ambassador to Rwanda, Frederique de Man.
According to the agreement, the money will be disbursed in two parts, under which Euro 3.9 million will go towards the Rwanda Correction Service to build 10 vocational schools in five prisons to help prisoners get vocational skills.
There are 13 prisons across the country.
The prisoners who will enroll at the vocational schools will graduate with a diploma.
The grant will also go towards the improvement of institutional capacity and capabilities through the development of a complete training curriculum for all RCS staff and development of rehabilitation programmes to help RCS comply with international practices in as far as treatment of prisoners is concerned.
According to the Dutch ambassador, the vocational training will help inmates adapt to new life after serving their sentences and also help them to be better members of society.
“Equipping prisoners with such vocational skills helps them to find what to do after they have completed their sentence. It also helps them stay away from trouble because they are occupied with work and this helps them to adapt easily,” she added.
The other Euros 5.4million will go towards supporting the Supreme Court and the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) to improve on the specialized legal knowledge and skills for judges and prosecutors.
It will also help reduce the backlog of cases in Rwandan courts.
This money will also go towards supporting the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit under NPPA in their pursuit of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi hiding in different countries so that they are brought to book.
“This support will also contribute to the improvement of the quality of judgments rendered by our courts of law. I look forward to continued good cooperation,” Uwera said.
The Dutch envoy commended the reforms in the country’s justice sector over the past two decades, saying that her country was proud of being part of that journey.
“A little more than twenty years ago our involvement in the Rwandan Justice sector commenced. We started with infrastructure such as construction of prisons and court houses and transitioned to capacity development. With these projects, we continue to build on past achievements and aim for a qualitative improvement of what is already there.”