Family values top 2014 Umushyikirano agenda

Thousands of nationals will next week convene at the Twelveth National Dialogue Council (Umushyikirano) to discuss the country's achievements in the last 20 years and highlight family values of unity that has kept Rwandans together.
L-R; State Minister for Finance and economic planning Uziel Ndagijimana, CEO, Rwanda Governance Board  Anastase Shyaka, Minister for the Presidency Venantie Tugireyezu and Gender Minister Oda Gasinzigwa chat after the press conference yesterday. (John Mbanda)
L-R; State Minister for Finance and economic planning Uziel Ndagijimana, CEO, Rwanda Governance Board Anastase Shyaka, Minister for the Presidency Venantie Tugireyezu and Gender Minister Oda Gasinzigwa chat after the press conference yesterday. (John Mbanda)

Thousands of nationals will next week convene at the Twelveth National Dialogue Council (Umushyikirano) to discuss the country’s achievements in the last 20 years and highlight family values of unity that has kept Rwandans together.

The topic of the dialogue was announced at a media briefing yesterday by Venantie Tugireyezu, the Minister in the Office of the President.

Tugireyezu said 1,000 people will gather at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kigali for the two-day dialogue opening December 18.

Some 2,000 members of the youth will also gather at different venues in the country from where they will pose questions to President Paul Kagame and share their ideas.

Chaired by the Head of State, Umushyikirano is the country’s largest political forum where citizens of all walks of life meet to chart the way forward at efforts to build the country.

At this year’s dialogue, major topics that will be discussed include how to safeguard Rwanda’s achievements made over the last 20 years since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the

Tutsi as well as highlighting families at the household level as a foundation for national prosperity.

The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, said talking about family values at household level will help show how the resilience of post-Genocide Rwandan families has helped to rebuild the country.

“We know that strong families make a strong country. We will talk about values in the Rwandan family which help to build Rwanda’s development,” she said.

The Eleventh National Dialogue Council, last year, drew 26 resolutions that have since been implemented, officials said.

They include fast-tracking access to financial loans for small and medium entreprises, improving service delivery in both private and the public sector, and spreading Ndi Umunyarwanda campaign to promote unity and reconciliation among Rwandans.

“We are happy that 23 of 26 resolutions have been implemented at an impressive level,” said Minister Tugireyezu.

For the remaining three resolutions, the minister said they have been implemented at the level between 50 and 80 per cent given the complicated nature of the issues.

They include instituting a maternity guarantee fund, which the minister said could be available next year since a study to set it up has been completed, revising pension benefits to fit the current level of inflation, and streamlining volunteering programmes to advance self-reliance.

Avenue for participation

Since it was instituted by the Constitution in 2003, Umushyikirano has been an annual event that gives Rwandans from all walks of life the opportunity to ask questions directly to their leaders and partake in policy formulation.

“It is an opportunity to discuss current issues affecting the country,” Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the chief executive of Rwanda Governance Board, said.

The event is attended by members of Cabinet and Parliament, representatives of the Rwandan community in the Diaspora, local government, the diplomatic community, university professors, and others.

Dr Egide Karuranga, the president of the Rwandan Diaspora in Canada, described Umushyikirano as an opportunity for the Diaspora to connect with leaders back home and renew their commitment to the country.

“Umushyikirano is a golden opportunity for us to reconnect with our leadership at home. Those of us who live in the West never enjoy such an opportunity with our host country leaders,” he told The New Times.

Karuranga said the national dialogue has helped in engaging the Rwandan Diaspora in helping to build their homeland by working with the government and people back home.

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