KIGALI - The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), Carl Wright yesterday, paid a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.
Wright delivered the outcomes of the two-day regional meeting of Local government Ministers and local government officials to the Head of State and commended the government for successfully organising the conference.
“I presented the President with a copy of the Kigali Statement which commits the countries of Eastern Africa to greater coordination on decentralisation and local democracy,” Wright said
“The statement from the Kigali meeting also puts forward the idea of establishing a forum bringing together local government ministers and leaders such as presidents of associations of local government---we had a very useful discussion on that,” he added.
The Commonwealth official said that President Kagame was delighted by the fact that Rwanda was able to successfully hold the first local government forum in collaboration with United Nations in Rwanda.
Wright also said that he discussed with the President the role the CLGF plays in paving way for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will take place in Australia this October.
The discussions also looked into what the Commonwealth is doing to advance local governance not only in East African countries but also on the continent as a whole.
He noted that the Head of State was pleased that the meeting in Kigali took some concrete decisions which will be transformed into actions for the benefit of the region.
On the draft report, Wright said that the next step is to revise, finalise and publish the findings of the study in the next few months, probably by September, and its findings be integrated in development programmes.
“We see it very much as an action oriented study which will produce some concrete benefits for the countries in improving local government structures and liability to deliver the MDGs---safe water, sanitation and housing for communities among others,” Wright said.
The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, said that the CLGF was impressed by the steps Rwanda has taken in improving decentralisation as well as the progress made in other areas of development.
“It was highly recommended that Rwanda offers its experiences to neighbouring countries and we reliably informed them that we are already doing so through our regional integration programmes,” Musoni said.
The Minister also said that discussions centred on the functionality of the Commonwealth as well as the forthcoming CHOGM and the role of the Commonwealth in supporting Rwanda’s development agenda.