Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: Government to Assess Service Delivery

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi has launched a three-month campaign of service delivery enforcement for the public and private sector.

In a meeting with cabinet members, heads of public and privates organizations and development partners, Habumuremyi said that strengthening service delivery should move from words to action. "Today, we end the series of meetings which have been taking place since the beginning of this year, and we move to action," the Prime Minister said. "In the next three months, we will be conducting field visits in order to inspect the customer care. Those who will be found on the right track will be acknowledged and those who are found to be lagging behind will be exposed and if necessary sanctioned."

He clarified that those sanctions could go as far as closure. "Rwandans are fed up with poor customer services. If you are not ready to review your service delivery, you better close your business before we do it for you. Your place is not here," Habumuremyi warned.

According to a survey by the Rwanda Development Board, in 2011 customer satisfaction with public services was 66.2%, and in 2012 it increased to 70.44%. "Don't think we should be satisfied; these rates are not good at all," the Prime Minister said. "We want a 100% customer satisfaction."

As for the private sector, customer satisfaction reaches only 51%, and Habumuremyi said this needs to be changed. "I don't see how we can develop with a non competitive private sector. This percentage means a lot to Rwandans and to those who visit the country. It reflects how challenging it is to be served in our bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and supermarkets."

The Prime Minister urged leaders and heads of institutions to be aware of the impact of poor service delivery on the country's development and perception.

"Rwandans should reject bad service; being served as you wish is a right, not a favor," Habumuremyi pointed out. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi, who once said: "A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work, he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him, he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to serve him."

Public institutions that are still far behind in service delivery are, among others, EWSA, the Social Security Board (in health insurance) and health service providers (hospitals and health centers nationwide). On the other hand, security forces (the army and the police) were commended for excellent services, along with the office of immigration and emigration.

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