The Ninth National Dialogue Council (Umushyikirano) ended, yesterday, with 27 recommendations, classified under the four broad clusters that guide the government’s development agenda, notably; good governance, economy, justice and social affairs.
It was resolved that cabinet ministers will sign Imihigo (performance contracts) with the Head of State, while Ambassadors and High Commissioners will sign Imihigo with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The government also took a commitment to conclude the implementation of the Eight Umushyikirano recommendations within the first half of 2012; as well as fast-tracking insolvency legal instruments and recovering public funds that were lost through embezzlement.
Also recommended was the need to step up the customer service campaign, improving competitiveness and consolidating as well as building on the progress in the education sector.
These are highly critical commitments that will need the support of everyone, from the national level to the Umudugudu administrative unit. Civil society groups, including religious denominations; the private sector; development partners; and individual citizens should all contribute to the implementation of the recommendations.
Since 2003, the Umushyikirano has played a pivotal role in enhancing a culture of public accountability, transparency and ownership. As is always the case, the Ninth Umushyikirano was characterized by candid debate, and citizens’ openness in airing out their views as well as concerns about governance issues. Thanks to the various ICT platforms, the public, both within and outside the country, participated in the two-day Dialogue, where officials were tasked to respond to the issues that were raised.
The annual forum is one of an array of homegrown solutions that have helped transform Rwanda from the failed state it was seventeen years ago to a country that people are proud to be associated with.