As a way of supporting organisations to promote good governance, the Rwandan Governance Advisory Council (RGAC), has released grants worth Rwf110m to 14 civil societies organisations, media and academia.
The beneficiaries include Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development (AJPRODHO), Community of Potters of Rwanda (COPORWA), Health Development Initiative, and Inter-Church Youth Foundation.
Others are MPEDH-Rwanda, Isango Star, Transparency Rwanda, Safer Rwanda, Rwanda Dispatch, Voice of Africa radio, National University of Rwanda, Kigali Institute of Education, and Never Again Rwanda.
During the event that attracted various government ministers, local leaders and experts from different organisations, the RGAC Director General Prof. Anastase Shyaka noted that accountability and service delivery cannot be achieved if civil society organisations are overlooked.
“We need to empower the civil society in order to enhance accountability and ensure better service delivery to the people as well as boost their capacity in promoting good governance,” he said.
The Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, challenged civil society organisations to embark on better service delivery saying that they have a strong impact on the country’s development.
“You play an important role in governance but you are never recognised, it’s important that you have been recognised today. You must deliver what you’re supposed to do,” Karugarama said, challenging them to always be open-minded and independent.
The project coordinator of Isango Star radio Solange Ayanone, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, hailed RGAC for its support, noting that the money would help advance service delivery.
“I believe that some of the challenges civil society organisations face is lack of adequate finance but now that we have got finance, we are going to improve our service delivery,” she said in an interview.
Isango stars will produce a radio program to highlight examples of of poor service delivery within the local authorities.
Despite the great strides Rwanda has made on good governance in recent years, the role of civil society organisations in politics and policymaking is still weak and needs support.