Refer to Lonzen Rugira’s article, “Nyakubahwa, we have a capacity problem” (The New Times, January 12).
I want to thank Mr Lonzen Rugira for confronting the issue head on.
However, I’d like to believe the problem lies beyond simply sieving out the “chaff” from the good grain as far as adopting a solid concept of “capacity building” is concerned. Rather, I think it starts deeper.
In the so called “developing world”, there prevails a risk-averseness (or laziness for that matter) to work at solving the development obstacles on ground with exactly the capacity we have, and then seeking help from the top to close the remaining gap.
Oftentimes, this part is dodged, and covered up with the curtain excuse: “We have a capacity problem”. This possibly stems from a neo-colonial hangover.
Now, as long as we focus more on daring to step into the muck with the capacity we can afford, the more the capacity we really, really need to additionally build becomes visible beyond contest/confusion. Only then can we differentiate it from the “brazenly questionable shenanigans”. Otherwise, we will continue to be tangled in the web.
The problem is not capacity but how we use it; our mindsets have stayed on the same small scale. Best example is ICT: We have increased our capacity by 1,000% to super-high speed but the price has gone up and the MBs you are allowed have gone down.
These telecoms used the backbone built with our taxes then overcharge us to use our own infrastructure. How will we have a tech boom if an MB costs Rwf50? How will students of KIST afford basic units to design websites and do programming?
90% of our bandwidth is unused; it is like we used to fetch for water from a well, now we have tapped water but still charge Rwf200 per jerry can.
The capacity problem is a lie, and the majority of money for research at the University of Rwanda (CASS) is never disbursed; we have tractors sitting rotting because the government won’t release money for fuel.
We really need to speed up our processes, because people use accountability as an excuse to withhold vital funds that stops everything.