As part of preparations for the forthcoming Presidential elections, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in partnership with the Forum for Political Parties organized a seminar on campaign planning and management.
The Minister of Internal Security, Musa Fazil Harerimana said this seminar is aimed at developing capacity of the existing political parties on how to successfully plan and manage campaigns within the democratic framework.
“This undertaking is geared at stepping up the capacity of the country’s political parties especially on the aspect of campaign planning and management, it is good timing given the fact that elections are around the corner.”
The Resident country Director of the National Democratic Institute, Gaston Ain Bilbao, told the Sunday Times that this seminar is just one activity of a wider program to develop capacity of political parties which they are implementing jointly with the Forum for Political Parties.
“So far we have trained over 400 political leaders at all levels in many parts of the country, this seminar is specifically for campaign management,” he pointed
He observed that Rwanda has both strong and weak political parties, that the weak ones are poorly organized.
“Our job is to help the poorly organized ones to reach out, communicate, pull people as well as give them skills of how to collect funds for their political survival.”
He also noted that the government of Rwanda has been very supportive and collaborative, a thing which has eased their work.
On the general stand of the 10 existing political parties in the country, Bilbao pointed out that if all parties want to be politically competitive; they have work hard just like the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF).
“If all parties want to be competitive they have to work as hard as the RPF,” he said.
In the 11 months of its operation in Rwanda, NDI - a non partisan international agency charged with enhancement of popular civic participation and representation has conducted training of political leaders in Rwamagana, Huye, Musanze and Kigali.
The two day seminar held at Prime Holdings was also graced by Mitch Stewart one of the chief campaign strategists for the elected American President Barak Obama.
He was invited to share with the 10 political parties’ representatives on the techniques of conducting a successful campaign and winning an election.
“His techniques of managing campaigns and linking people with their candidates, is something Rwanda’s political parties can learn and benefit from,” Minister Harerimana said.