The annual National dialogue that kicked off yesterday is a perfect example of how Rwandans are beginning to enjoy dividends of good governance.
The openness characterizing this important convention is a demonstration of how Rwanda’s political landscape has evolved, from one where decision making on issues affecting millions was determined by a small clique, to one where each and every Rwandan has say on governance issues.
The fact that Rwanda’s leaders, from all levels, converge and discuss policies affecting the country’s development is not only a giant step in democracy, but rather an act that demonstrates the commitment to transform this country into a developed nation.
The levels of pressing for accountability and transparency that emerges during this dialogue leave most of our leaders on their heels---pushing them to show more commitment in designing policies that will uplift the lives of our people.
The 7th national dialogue was unique in its own way. The organizers made good use of technology. Short messaging services or sms were flowing and projected before the leaders who in turn answered some queries.
Phones were open and the entire dialogue streamed live on a special website and national radio.
Therefore, even the person in the remotest part of the country could fully participate in this dialogue, let alone those in Diaspora. This in itself is a demonstration of how much the country has achieved in the ICT sector.
Since this dialogue offers a unique opportunity, it could probably be decentralized to lower governance structures.
Why can’t, for example, provinces or districts have their own dialogue that critically evaluate performance?
That said, the transparency and free speech that characterize this national dialogue is a weapon that should silence Rwanda’s ‘free speech’ critics.