The New Times (Kigali)

8 December 2012

Rwanda: Cabinet to Revise Decentralisation Policy

The process to review the decentralisation policy has moved on steadily, and it will soon be forwarded to the cabinet, Fred Mufuruke, the Director General of Territorial Administration and Good Governance at the Ministry of Local Government has said.

It is now twelve years since the government adopted the policy, and Mufuruke says that it is time that it is revised to ensure it goes hand in hand with the rapid changes and achievements the country has registered.

The policy that also aims at bringing local authorities or decision making bodies closer to the population saw its second phase territorial restricting creating four provinces, 30 districts, 416 Sectors and 2148 cells.

"Yes, the policy has registered good results, but as a way of making it more effective basing on the current advancement, there is urgent need to reverse this policy," said Mufuruke.

He explained that among other factors that are being considered is the inclusion of the use of Information Communication Technology in Development which he said was never considered in the policy.

"By then, we were not even part of the East African Community; therefore we need to also engage the citizens, even those at the grassroots in issues concerning the bloc; as this will help to bring them on board as far as the integration process and its benefits are concerned," he said.

The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, recently told members of the National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations that among others, revising the policy will enable the implementation of ideas that suit today's national development strategy.

He pointed out that it will also strengthen or bridge gaps and challenges that have not been addressed, despite the progress registered.

Last year, the Parliamentary Committee on Political Affairs realised that despite the achievements of the decentralised policy, there are still problems that need to be addressed. This was after a tour in the three districts of Kigali; Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge.

The committee's tour revealed that there were problems concerning legislations, the way local administration work and how local administrative levels collaborate.

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