The 8th National Dialogue (Umushyikirano) ended on Tuesday at the Parliamentary buildings, after two days of deliberation on the status of the development process, assessing the performance in 2010 and setting targets for 2011.
President Paul Kagame chaired the event during which the Prime Minister Bernard Makuza presented a report on the implementation of the 2009 resolutions.
This year’s edition attracted representatives of the central and local government, legislators, the private sector, civil society, religious leaders, development partners, Rwandan Diaspora as well as Diplomatic corps.
The dialogue was broadcast live on national radio and television and close to 100, 000 people followed the proceedings online. The public was able to participate through text messages and phone-in interventions.
The just concluded 8th National Dialogue came up with several recommendations to be implemented in the coming year.
Following an earlier presentation by the Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa, on the performance and progress of Umurenge SACCO programme which is yet to attract a large membership base, it was resolved that leaders, at all levels, mobilise people to join the programme which is aimed at encouraging the saving culture.
It was agreed that the masses be encouraged to “own” the SACCOs and also understand that they are for their own benefit.
Also agreed was to increase the capacity of microfinance institutions to increase savings and lending especially in rural areas, as a way of supporting investment in rural projects like agriculture.
Participants identified and agreed on new measures of water harvesting to increase irrigation in marshlands and on hillsides as means to support agriculture in times when rains are increasingly becoming unreliable. The private sector was urged to be part of plans which will see at least 100, 000 hectares under irrigation in the next 7 years.
It was also resolved that the youth saving scheme COOJAD be merged with Umurenge SACCO to make it more effective and also boost Umurenge SACCO in terms of numbers and resources.
It was resolved that people settling in marshlands be moved with immediate effect and reserve marshland areas for agricultural purposes.
Dominating the two-day debate were high prices of foodstuffs in the City yet a few kilometres away farmers “dump” their produce to traders at give away prices. It was agreed that prices of food be revised with immediate effect by the concerned parties.
-Streamline and strengthen measures to fight genocide and the genocide ideology. Also agreed was to urgently look into welfare of genocide survivors as well as the state of memorial sites, with all districts urged to take up the responsibility.
-Streamlining the committee charged with coordinating volunteers, with particular emphasis on identifying the needs for volunteers to work properly.
-On decentralisation, it was resolved that all levels of governance and with in the private sector, leadership should be brought closer to the people through good customer care aimed at developing all Rwandans in general. Those cited in poor service delivery will be dealt with.
- Encouraging all Rwandans still in exile to return home and “see” with their own eyes the “new Rwanda” and thereafter consider returning home.
-It was resolved that Kinyarwanda language be allocated enough time on the curriculum to allow Rwandan children time to know their culture and language while sports should be made compulsory on the curriculum for healthier children.
-Eradicating poor housing, with particular emphasis on eliminating grass-thatched houses. The government to build for the needy while those with capacity will be urged to eliminate them by end of 2011.
-Parents through their associations with teachers urged to monitor the education progress of their children. Also to be focussed on will be increasing the numbers and capacity of Vocational Training Schools (TVET).
-“Kinyarwanda Parliament” to be established by the Ministry of Sports and Culture by early next year.
-Fast tracking the 12 Year Based Education.
-Local Government leaders to oversee the construction of toilets as a way of promoting sanitation.
-Preparing the list of people who have committed economic crimes so that they can be brought to justice. The Judiciary to follow up.
-Reforming pension and social security laws to benefit all.
-Encouraging countries harbouring gencoidaires to extradite them or use the laws against genocide in those particular countries to prosecute them.