KIGALI - The Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman of Sweden, Mats Melin, has said that his three-day visit to Rwanda has taught him a lot about resilience and determination.
Melin and a delegation of ten African Ombudsmen had paid a courtesy call and had talks with President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village, yesterday.
Addressing the press after the meeting, Melin said that he was able to learn from the commitment of segments in government and local people.
“I am sure that Africa and the rest of the world can learn much from Rwanda,” he said
Melan commended Kagame’s outspoken support for the fight against corruption and injustices. He said that he was convinced that in the long run, some of the topics they discussed in the meeting will be implemented by the participating countries.
Melin and the ten Ombudsmen had taken part in a 3-day conference which coincided with celebrations to mark 200 years since the first Ombudsman’s office was established.
The first “Ombudsman” was established by the Swedish legislature in 1809 to respond to public complaints against government actions. Other countries using Ombudsmen include Finland (1919), New Zealand (1962), and Britain (1967).
Rwanda’s Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, said the Ombudsmen had been impressed by Rwanda’s progress and had come to Urugwiro Village to consult on several topics.
“The Ombudsmen were impressed by our work and by President Kagame’s speech because it addressed corruption and economy, which are both problems in Africa. Some came to Rwanda when they already knew what they wanted to consult him about,” he said
The conference discussed how those institutions will help to increase the perfomance of institutions whose attributions are to promote human rights and to fight corruption and other related vices.