One of the traditional houses built at Rulindo cultural center is a display of local heritage and traditional Rwandan arts and culture
The vision of MINISPOC is to promote Rwanda as a sports country and to ensure that the development is rooted in culture. Its mission is to develop and support implementation of policies and strategies that lead to a winning culture in sports and to make culture foundational to our development agenda.
In May 2011, MINISPOC was given a mandate of developing and supporting the implementation of policies and strategies related to the promotion of a winning culture in various sports disciplines and to promote culture as foundation to the development of our country.
The Ministry oversees 5 culture policy implementing agencies: The Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR), Rwanda Archives and Library Services Authority (RALSA), The National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG), Rwandan Academy of Language and Culture (RALC) and The Chancellery of Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of honor (CHENO).
This article aims at presenting the achievements of MINISPOC in the past 7 years in the Culture and Sport Sectors.
The culture of any country is an integral part of its overall political and socioeconomic development framework. It is an embodiment of Social cultural practices, rituals and festive events that structure the lives of communities and groups within Nation States. In 2015 a National Culture Heritage Policy was developed built on 10 key intervention areas:
Dissemination of the Rwandan History
Rwandans and foreigners have been encouraged to speak out and write about the Rwandan History especially on the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994; CNLG compiled and documented both audio and visual testimonies of genocide survivors for future generations. New books published on the history of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi have been and are still being published from relevant researches conducted by both Rwandans and foreigners.
Four National Level genocide memorial sites have been rehabilitated (Murambi, Ntarama, Nyamata and Bisesero);
CNLG has developed a database of testimonies related to the Genocide against the Tutsi that will also help in recognizing people who contributed to the fight and prevention against the genocide in 1994 as Rwanda’s Heroes. Furthermore, five researches have been conducted on the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and findings have been published .
Dissemination and promotion of Culture Values
Culture values have been promoted and disseminated through civic education programs. These programs have been implemented through primary and secondary schools, through National Itorero Civic Camps and the programs have been so far followed by an estimated 1,000,000 Rwandans from a variety of sectors across the country.
MINISPOC has also started Culture values promotion programs for students in holidays where visits to museums and cultural camps are held. These programs have so far reached an estimated 800 students.
Preservation and promotion of Kinyarwanda Language
MINISPOC has availed teaching materials at different levels: though both formal education (Universities and High Learning Institutions) and informal education. Among other disseminated works: Dictionary of Botany and Anatomy, Kinyarwanda Grammar (Schools and universities); Ubukwe mu Rwanda, Twige Ikinyarwanda.
Teachers (47) of Kinyarwanda in High Education have been trained on the correct use of Kinyarwanda orthography, 52 Journalists trained in written Kinyarwanda and use of Kinyarwanda in oral media.;
The promotion of cultural tourism in the country
The Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR) has expanded from two branches to six branches between 2011 and 2017. This expansion has positively impacted the culture tourism sector. The average culture tourism visits before 2011 was around 20,000 visitors per year and an income revenue of around Rwf50,000,000. This number increased to reach an average of 168,324 Visitors per year in 2017 and an estimated income revenue of around Rwf170,000,000 per year. 145 historical sites have been documented and 10 sites were signposted to improve awareness;
The Government of Rwanda has started the construction project of a culture village at Rebero Hill that will serve as a home to artistes, a place for their creative arts expansion, exhibition and also play the role of a culture hub. A cultural hall for arts expression and recreational functions has also been constructed at Busasamana in Rubavu District.
The development of the Creative arts industry
A strategic organ the “Rwanda Arts Council (RAC)” an umbrella comprised of Six Creative Arts Federations and an Executive Committee Federations was put in place in 2016. The six federations are: Film Federation, Writers’ Federation, Plastic Arts Federation, Music Federation, Performance Arts Federation Beauty and Fashion Federation.
In partnership with the Government’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) a School of Arts and Music was established in Nyundo.
The National Ballet URUKEREREZA has been revalorized and has been performing in all provinces of the country and in festivals or official banquets. A Rwanda Culture Day in 2016 was organized and held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, to also share with the Rwandan Diaspora and friends of Rwanda at large, the cultural wealth of Rwanda. Rwanda hosted and attended regional and international cultural festivals such as FESPAD, FESPAM, MISS WORLD, JAMAFEST.
Urukerereza teaches cultural through culture dance
Promotion of a reading culture
The Rwanda Archives and Library Services Authority (RALSA) is in phase of being fully operational. The Kigali Public Library, privately managed, is operational since 2012. Related policies (Library and Archives Policies) are in place and being implemented. Reading promotion campaigns have been organized throughout the country in partnership with GoR stakeholders as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and private institutions. Writing promotion has also been improved whereas Rwanda has today a growing Publishing industry mainly focusing on Children’s book and School books. Campaigns to widen the scope of the publishing to also include young adults and adult audience in story writing and publishing are ongoing. Through the National Archives, an estimated 5,250,00 pages have been electronically weeded, properly filed, scanned and indexed. And an additional 5,050,000 pages are physically managed.
The preservation of Genocide memory
Thousands of persons were sensitized to Fight against Genocide and prevent its ideology in different institutions. All districts, sectors, cells and villages have now anti-genocide clubs where members are trained on the fight against genocide;
“Walk to Remember” campaigns across Rwanda and around the world involving (international organizations and the Diaspora) were annually organised and over 2,050,000 people participated in each year and anti-genocide campaigns held annually through radio and TV talk shows and annual international Conference on Genocide is organized.
MINISPOC joined the rest of Rwandans to commemorate 1994 Tutsi Genocide and helped different vulnerable survivors in different districts.
Sports plays a significant role in the development of communities; it brings people together to interact, play and engage in conversations that build social harmony. Sports positively impacts on social development and economic sustainability; empower people and teach leadership and citizenship skills while inculcating cooperation toward shared goals.
A National Sports Development policy was adopted by Cabinet in early 2013 and provides orientations and strategic actions.
Ministry Level Strengthened organizational and institutional capacity of sports across all the government institutions and sports bodies in order to plan and implement activities in different sports disciplines with greater accountability.
Local Government’s participation in sport development
Districts and the City of Kigali support the football clubs, 2 district support volley ball clubs, 28 Districts support teams of people with disabilities (Sit ball - men and women) except Muhanga and Nyaruguru Districts, 2 annual sports competitions are held at District level through Umurenge Kagame Cup and Amashuri Kagame Cup. Sports activities are financially supported by local government.
Sport for all and the mass sport have been introduced at all levels from village cells to district and Government Ministries.
Sport in Schools, Army and Police institutions
Centers (20) of excellence were established in high schools to nurture identified talents in different sports disciplines; Volleyball, Basketball, Handball, Football and Athletics). 150 training centers were established in high schools to nurture identified talents in different sport disciplines (Volleyball, Basketball, Handball, Football and Athletics, Karate and Taekwondo)
Players and Coaches to achieve their maximum capacity
Technical staff were trained in different fields related to sport management as follows: 998 coaches, 597 Referees, 95 Medical Staff, 99 Officials (commissioners) and 3 Mental preparation specialists.
Different sports associations were supported by MINISPOC and provided with financial support and offices at Amahoro National Stadium. The Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee, the National Paralympic Committee as well as 30 sport federations out of 33 are accommodated at offices in the Amahoro national stadium and receive financial support from MINISPOC.
Sport and Business to promote public-private partnership in the development of sport in Rwanda.
Investors have been urged to enter into partnership with Government towards promoting sports and leisure through establishment of sports schools. To this effect, a total of 204 training centers and 3 football academies were established by Private initiatives. Some private companies already sponsor the sports events (Azam, MTN, Cogebanque, BK, Skol, Ameki Color, etc.).
Infrastructure facilities that facilitate increased participation of people in sports and those that meet required standards to attract public participation at the same time host international events have been established.
Eight district stadiums have been constructed and fully operational while two were upgraded for sport talent development, a Cricket stadium is under construction at Gahanga and the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.
The architectural impression of Gahanga International Cricket Stadium
The Africa Rising Cycling center was established in Musanze District and is contributing much to the development of Cycling in Rwanda. The vision is to make it a center providing services with international standards.
Gisagara District has completed the construction of the country’s first internationally recognized volleyball gymnasium which will host different sporting activities both at national and international levels.
A High-Performance Athletics Training Center was set up in Gicumbi District with the aim of developing Athletics in Rwanda. A Land for construction of Gahanga Stadium was acquired and negotiations with private investors are currently ongoing led by MININFRA / Rwanda Housing Authority.
Sports facilities made Rwanda eligible to successfully host regional and continental competitions including Zone V Basketball and Volleyball, Handball, Football competitions, U-17 in 2011 and the African Nations Championship (CHAN) held in 2016. Rwanda also successfully hosted different editions of Tour of Rwanda and the Kigali International Peace marathon 2017 where a Rwandan Salome Nyirarukundo won a gold medal after Disi Dieudonne in the men’s half marathon in 2016.
Salome Nyirarukundo (Center) won Kigali International Half Marathon in women's category
Sports for Development and Peace:
The Ministry promoted the use of sports as strong avenue for development and peace building. Sport contributed to the overall pursuit of the development objectives including health, education, peace and reconciliation, regional integration, good governance etc. enhanced through the Kigali International Peace Marathon and Genocide Memorial Tournament.