The call by the recently appointed Minister of Local Government, Christophe Bazivamo, for members of the Rwanda Association of Local Government (RALGA), to focus more on the welfare of citizens is timely.
RALGA was formed with a specific mandate based on three areas; which are representation, lobbying and advocacy, and capacity building.
The three are at the core of the day to day work that RALGA does as it goes about its mandate developed in 2002.
The challenges for RALGA are many, given the cases of corruption among some local authorities, a result of little accountability.
Another major challenge is to do with the slow pace of development in some districts.
Serving the citizens interests then means heeding the Minister’s call, and putting in place measures to ensure that these long identified challenges are overcome.
If one takes an example of the fast development taking place in Kigali City, which has received international accolades, then it is easy to argue that all the other district authorities through out the country can follow suit. They too can be high performers.
The noble idea behind decentralization was to develop a local leadership that efficiently runs district authorities in service of those who elected them.
Those who elected them therefore expect from them a vision for development through efficiency leading to prosperity.
Local government forms the foundation of the country’s development, meaning that the attainment of the goals set out in Vision 2020, can only be possible through properly run authorities.
That way the citizens welfare can best be served.