A delegation from South Africa’s Free State Province is currently in the country to learn from Rwanda’s recovery story after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The delegation led by the province’s prime minister Ace Magashule on Tuesday paid a visit to Rwanda Governance Board in Kigali, where they were taken through the different government policies and home grown solutions the country has come up with on its journey to rebuild.
They were briefed about the cattle stocking programme (Girinka ), traditional courts (Gacaca), mediation (Abunzi) , Ubudehe, civic education (Itorero), National Dialogue, (Umushikirano) among others.
“We have talked about the home grown solutions and how they are helping us as a country. They also told us about some of their local policies. We have learnt from each other to see what we can improve in our policies as well as how we can cooperate as Africans,” said Professor Anastase Shyaka, the Chief Executive Officer of RGB.
“We are impressed with the quality of discussions and we are eager to continue the exchanges,” he added.
Magashule, said that the visit is aimed at fostering more cooperation among Africans.
“What is key is people to people relations for us as Africans. Africa has been marginalised and isolated and this is the time for Africans to work very closely with one another,” he said.
He said he had lessons to take home, especially concerning monitoring and implementing of policies.
“There are things that we have learnt which we will go back and implement. The one cow one per family is one of the projects we have tried in South Africa but we did not follow it up. I think the success story here is: monitor, follow, evaluate, and make sure that you look after whatever you do,” he said, commending the cooperation between the two countries.
He expressed hope in cooperation in different areas such as education.
“It will be wonderful for us as a province within the national framework of South Africa to partner and work very close with Rwanda,” Magashule said.
He also said that after visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, he recognised the need for more apartheid museums back home in South Africa just as Rwanda has up to 200 genocide memorial sites.
“We only have one apartheid museum and I think we need more apartheid museums in our cities and provinces so that they will be accessible to our young people,” he said.
Sam Mashinini, the Free State province’s minister in Executive Council for police, roads and transport commended the discipline and order in Rwanda as well as how the government engages people in development.
“One of the things I am taking back is the discipline which we must inculcate in our people. I am impressed with how they engage the citizens. They make people to learn to catch the fish instead of just giving them fish,” he added.