The Minister of Labour and Public Service (MIFOTRA), Anastase Murekezi, has announced that his ministry had devised a draft law and ministerial instructions to streamline the consultancy industry.
Murekezi noted that the government recognises the critical role that consultancy industry plays in effective policy formulation and provision of quality services in the public and private sectors.
The minister made the remarks last Friday during the annual general meeting of the Rwanda Organisation of Professional Consultants (ROPC) in Kigali.
Murekezi, who was the chief guest at the function, said that the government is committed to putting in place a regulatory framework for management of consultancy services.
The minister challenged ROPC to come out as an effective regulatory body by providing better management consultancy services in the region.
"I firmly believe that coordinated efforts between the government, the private sector and this body of consultants can put in place mechanisms that are crucial to effective delivery of management services in Rwanda and beyond" Murekezi said.
The Minister asked consultants to promote professional ethics in their respective duties, saying that this would allow the industry to grow faster, challenging ROPC members to position themselves as a new think-tank in the country.
"I am challenging you as members of ROPC to position yourselves as a new think-tank in Rwanda that provides better consultancy services both in the private and public sector and the civil society." Murekezi said.
He added that the government can reduce reliance on external consultancy services and come up with home grown solutions in the development agenda if there is a vibrant consultancy industry in the country.
The President of ROPC, Jean Marie Vianney Makuza, said that the association had vowed to play a key role in the promotion of a more professional consultancy industry in the country.
"Currently, there are no regulatory systems in the consultancy sector in the country and I believe that this is the reason why consultants work in a very poor environment,” Makuza said, noting that ROPC would ensure that all consultants coalesce their efforts towards improving the profession.
He noted that ROPC lacks a database of all consultants working in the country, which makes it difficult to distinguish those in need of assistance in terms of capacity building.
In an interview with The New Times shortly after the meeting, Makuza noted that a survey carried out by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) showed that between 2003 and 2008, the central government spent approximately US$80 million on external consultancy services annually.
An agribusiness consultant, Emmanuel Mbitezimana, called upon consultants in the country to always share information and expertise saying this would boost the consultancy sector in the country.
"I encourage the Rwandan consultants in various fields to have passion for their career and to also have integrity in their daily activities to enable the consultancy industry to become more vibrant economically," Mbitezimana said.
Oreste Rugambwa, a business development consultant, noted that various consultants never give enough value to the profession, citing this as one of the major obstacles towards the promotion of the consultancy sector in the country.
"Many of those in the consultancy business were fired from the private and public sectors yet this field needs individuals with high integrity and commitment in everything they carry out," Rugambwa underscored.
He asked ROPC in collaboration with the government to adopt standard ethics to root out quacks from the industry.