Rwanda and Ghana have best practices to share as the two countries work towards further improving their decentralisation processes.
The observation was made by Cyrille Turatsinze, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government at the end of a one-week study tour of district executive secretaries to Ghana.
Turatsinze, who was leading the delegation, said that Ghana and Rwanda have a lot in common and “there is a lot to share between the two countries in terms of decentralisation.”
At the end the tour, during which the delegation visited various institutions and held discussions with different actors involved in the Ghanaian decentralisation system, it was observed that there is lot Rwanda can learn from Ghana and vice versa.
“One of the most interesting practices the delegation from Rwanda was able to identify is the harmonised planning practice through the National Development Planning Commission,”
“The commission is in charge of the planning, monitoring and evaluation of all activities related to central Local Government. The practice is based on a series of well elaborated planning and evaluation tools,” said Jean Bosco Rushingabigwi, the Communications Officer of the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA).
According to Rushingabigwi, the delegation unanimously acknowledged that the practice would be instrumental in strengthening the decentralisation Rwanda has made so far.
He said that another important practice noticed was the existence of a training institution for local leaders, the Institute of Local Government Studies, which the district executives said can be vital if Rwanda had one.
“It is clear that the institute contributes tremendously to address the various problems related to the capacity in Local Governments in Ghana,” said Yves Bernard Ningabire, the Executive Secretary for Karongi District.
Another important practice identified in Ghana is a well established culture of career development and retention mechanisms in local government to limit a high turnover.
The delegation shared with their Ghanaian counterparts several practices from Rwanda. The Ghanaians were impressed with the harmonisation of budget planning and monitoring. Thanks to ICT applications.
Among these are various tools such as budget call circulars and harmonised chart of accounts in all districts.
The Ghanaians expressed a high interest in coming to Rwanda to learn about the practices.