The government is determined to ensure significant improvement in sectors that registered low performance in the 2014 Rwanda Governance Scorecard, the Minister for Local Government, Francis Kabonaka, has said.
Kaboneka made the commitment during the launch of the third scorecard, yesterday, at an event that drew public institutions, civil society and heads of diplomatic missions in Rwanda.
The scorecard, which was published by Rwanda Governance Board, is a national barometer that looks at performance in all key sectors in the country.
“Data from this publication offers an opportunity for lessons learnt and how to implement related recommendations. It also highlights governance challenges and best practices; it indicates that Rwanda has progressively registered better performance in the governance sector,” said the minister.
The scorecard places safety and security as top performer with an average score of 91.6 per cent from the four sub-indicators; maintaining security, national security, personal and property safety and reconciliation and social cohesion.
The indicator on which the performance was minimal was one on quality of service delivery, mainly at the local government level.
“Identified challenges will be jointly addressed by concerned institutions. On behalf of the government, I commit our determination to improve where we still have some weaknesses. Sectors that performed poorly should multiply their efforts in improving this situation,” said the minister.
He challenged the civil society and development partners to work together in facilitating an improvement in performance.
In comparison with the previous scorecards, the rule of law and justice sector indicator emerged the highly reformed cluster mainly due to increased access to justice.
Reacting to the publication, the Vice-Chancellor of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof Benoit Girardin, said that although the academia performed poorly in influencing policy, there was work in progress which would result into future better performance.
“Regarding the academia’s timidity to share the commitment, I can only commit that we will go farther and improve our performance. I see some signals for example, in August this year, private universities will convene to discuss governance and quality of service delivery, so we are moving quite well,” said Girardin.
Under the vibrancy of non-state actors’ sub-indicator, academia scored 40 per cent, one of the lowest percentages in the report.
Justice minister Johnston Busingye attributed the gains in the rule of law indicator to several reforms that the sector underwent and a change in perception towards several initiatives like Access to Justice Bureaus and homegrown mediation committees (Abunzi).
“The whole point of submitting ourselves to scrutiny and measures is where we got a few things right. The justice industry is a huge one, we have been doing changes since 2002. We have also been leveraging IT improvements in the country and borrowing from anything that is on the market,” he said.
Among the changes that the sector underwent, according to the minister, include engagement with civil society which was made policy and an honest dialogue with diplomatic missions.
The barometer faulted the media and civil society for their sluggishness in influencing policy, but the chairperson of Rwanda Editors’ Forum, Kennedy Ndahiro, said the new legal instruments, including the Access to Information Law, empowers the media although some institutions were still moving very slowly in implementing the law.
The Head of European Union Delegation to Rwanda, Michael Ryan, praised the scorecard, particularly the justice sector for having recorded significant changes saying that once there is proper rule of law, achieving the rest is not difficult.