The government and its development partners signed a Joint Governance Assessment (JGA) which seeks to develop a common understanding of governance issues.
The areas agreed upon include justice, government effectiveness and investment climate.
James Musoni, the Minister of Local Government and Chair of the JGA Steering Committee, signed on behalf of the government while Ambassador Michel Arrion, also the co-chair of JGA and head of the EU Delegation, signed on behalf of the partners.
Speaking at the function, Musoni commended donors for their support and efforts to strike a balance and reach a common understanding, despite the difficulties they met, particularly on the methodology to apply on some unquantifiable indicators.
“Arguably, the most valuable output from this process is the wealth of important lessons that have been learned,” Musoni said.
“There is a common agreement between the government and its development partners that further efforts need to be invested in the process, which requires constant dialogue at each stage”.
Anastase Shyaka, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Governance Advisory Council, told the stakeholders that the law establishing the Rwanda Governance Board was finally gazetted to act as a one-stop independent centre for promotion of good governance functions such as political party registration.
“This is a milestone that contributes to consolidation of good governance efforts in the country. Signing the JGA is a worldwide novelty and both the government and development partners should be proud of it,” Shyaka said in an interview.
Amb. Arrion told the meeting that: “Despite the inherent complexity of a process that brings together a large number of institutions, the first JGA review has met many expectations of the JGA members”.
He noted that the next high level governance dialogue will revolve around media reforms, reforms in the penal code, anti-genocide law as well as judicial cooperation to extradite Genocidaires and fight terrorist groups, particularly the Congo-based Rwandan rebel group, Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR).
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, commended the JGA team for looking beyond disagreements to focus on important indicators that form a basis for the country’s good governance.
“We have learnt through this process that even if we disagree on some issues, it should not be a big deal; as long as we maintain dialogue, the process shall be refined along the way and we will be able to share a broader view, even with some disagreements,” Mushikiwabo told the donors.
Officials from the World Bank expressed the need to link governance reforms to service delivery through decentralisation to benefit the citizens.
The JGA was founded on the request of President Paul Kagame during a meeting with donors in November 2006.
It was then initiated to provide objective and evidence-based assessments that reflect Rwanda’s specific governance history and its current and future context and realities.