The latest round of the signing of Imihigo was held on Friday with all district mayors converging at Kigali Convention Centre to commit to a new set of targets under the Imihigo framework, one of the most successful homegrown mechanisms that have significantly contributed toward Rwanda’s development.
At the event, the Prime Minister released the ranking of districts in the delivery of the 2015/16 performance contracts (Imihigo), which revealed that some districts had made significant gains over the past one year or so, while others found themselves in an unfamiliar territory of bottom performers.
Gasabo emerged one of the most improved districts, jumping into the top spot out of 30 districts, a significant shift from yesteryears when it used to rank among the worst performers.
On the other hand, there are those districts that seem to have declined in performance; notably Kicukiro, which had at one time monopolised the number one position, only to rank 20th this time round.
Nonetheless, that there is just over eleven percentage points between the best performer (Gasabo, with 81.6 per cent) and the least performer (Musanze, with 70.37 per cent) suggests that it’s not all doom and gloom for those in the “worst performers” zone. If they can fix the issues that saw them score relatively lowly, they can rank more favourably in the near future.
Crucially, while Imihigo have instilled a healthy competition among districts, they should not be seen as an end in themselves, rather they should be viewed as a means to gauge socio-economic progress on the ground, identify the gaps and devise solutions, with view to impacting the lives of the people.
But to impact people’s lives, districts need to be consistent in performance over the long term. They need to be seen to be prioritising actions and programmes that improve the lives of the people, because, ultimately, that’s what good governance is about.