Inclusive governance in which no one is left out through power sharing is the core for sustainable democracy and governance and that is what states should strive for in the Great Lakes Region.
Amb. Fatuma Ndangiza, the deputy chief executive of Rwanda Governance Board ( RGB), made the remarks Saturday while opening a conference on Governance and Democracy in the Great Lakes Region that was held in Kigali.
The conference was organised by Rwanda Good Governance Promotion and Youth Development Organization (RGPYD) and brought together delegates from Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi.
The conference aims at providing a conductive forum for participants to exchange various experiences in the process of building democracy, citizen participation and human rights promotion, accountability and the rule of the law, while considering different cultural and historical backgrounds.
Ndangiza said accountability and transparency were crucial pillars for political aspirations of people, adding that society management should be at the center as democracy is the power of people by people and for people.
“Our Great Lakes Region needs democracy and governance to uproot challenges of wars and corruption. States should ensure that no one is left out in democracy. Our region needs inclusive democracy. Political parties should share power even if one party loses during the elections. It should participate in building the country. That is the form of democracy we need in our region,” she noted.
According to Samuel Hakuzimana, the Director General of RGPYD, the conference was organized as an open debate in which civil societies, organizations and experts in politics from the regions discuss democracy and governance within the region.
“Our discussions focus on challenges our states face in democracy and governance by sharing best practices in order that our states learn from one another. We should deal with current problems neighboring countries face like Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He added that corruption is the issue to be focused on regionally as any practice of it in any country will affect the whole region and security should be prioritized because our region get troubled when one of state member is politically unstable.
Eduard Munyamariza, chairperson of Rwanda civil society platform, said that civil societies play a crucial role in building democratic governance by building a bridge between the government and local citizens through advocacy aiming at solving people’s problems for sustainable peace.
Ojok Rob C.OTIM, a delegate from Uganda who manages Facilitation for Peace and Development program (FAPAD), said that democracy and good governance start by allowing people to express their views on any issue that affects their lives, adding that he experiences various practices from other states like homegrown solution practice in Rwanda among others.
Rwanda Good Governance Promotion and Youth Development Organization (RGPYD) is a non –governmental organization whose mission is promoting good governance and civic education, strengthening citizen participation and supporting debates.