Kigali meet to discuss decentralisation

Rwanda will next week host an international symposium on accountable governance and decentralisation.

Rwanda will next week host an international symposium on accountable governance and decentralisation.

The meeting, due next Thursday, is being organised by the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).

The six-day symposium will focus on Rwanda’s 10 years of decentralisation with the aim of sharing experiences in good governance and the decentralisation process.

It is hoped to enhance a common understanding of decentralisation and accountable governance among participants.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Kigali on Thursday, the RGB Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, said the conference will be an opportunity for Rwanda to share the lessons learnt and celebrate a decade of successful implementation of the decentralisation policy.

“There has been a change in the institutional set-up where the country registered a high level of poverty reduction. I attribute it partially to the implementation of the decentralisation programme,” Prof. Shyaka said.

“We have entered another phase, the consolidation phase where we are now looking  for improved services though there is still room for improvement,’’ he added.

GIZ country director Dr Maenner Ulrike said Rwanda was chosen to host the symposium because it  has instructive lessons to share with other African countries and the world at large.

The conference, organised under the theme: “Celebrating Achievements for a decade of decentralisation in Rwanda’’ will focus on decentralisation as a tool  for citizen participation, empowerment and better service delivery.

About 500 people, including policy makers, civil society representatives and academia from 25 African countries  are expected to attend the conference.

Officials from the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation, the GIZ management board will also attend.

Keynote speakers include advocate Thuli Madonsela, a human rights lawyer from South Africa, and the executive director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima.

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