A five-day conference of Heads of Correctional Institutions from across Africa opens, on Monday, in Kigali with participants discussing governance and management of prisons.
This was announced by officials from Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) at a news conference in Kigali yesterday.
The Commissioner General of Prisons, George Rwigamba, said the African Correctional Services Association (ACSA), is a biennial conference which brings together heads of prisons, experts, academics and civil society organisations, among others, to deliberate on how prisons can be well managed.
He said that the meeting, in its fourth year, will be an opportunity for prisons managers and other experts from diverse correctional backgrounds to compare notes on best practices in prisons management and governance.
The event will run from May 15- 19, and will attract between 200 and 500 participants. It will take place at Kigali Convention Centre.
Rwigamba said part of the conference will be the tour by the participants of various correctional facilities to learn from Rwanda on how prisons have managed to develop themselves using inmates.
He talked of the growing use of biogas for cooking at correctional facilities, which has reduced pressure on environment and cut down the cost of firewood used by 50 per cent.
Participants will also learn how Rwandan prisons have engaged in income generating activities, in road construction and other projects such as arts and crafts, furniture manufacturing, among others.
According to officials, RCS generated over Rwf703 million in 2015/16.
It has also managed to construct some of its prisons using inmates and prisons officers’ labour, accounting for 30 per cent of the cost of construction.
“Participants will have an opportunity to tour some prisons to see how Rwanda has evolved in prison management,” he said, adding that participants will also learn how works of general interest, commonly known as TIG, has helped former inmates generate income while serving part of their sentences.
TIG was designed to allow people found guilty of participating in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi to serve the entire or part of their sentences doing community works.
Rwanda has more than 50,000 inmates hosted in 14 prison facilities across the country.
The African Correctional Services Association, formed in 2008, brings together correctional services in Africa.