11 December 2012

Rwanda: Tenth National Dialogue to Discuss Rwanda's Way Towards Self-Reliability

Photo: Urugwiro Village
President Paul Kagame (file photo).

Parliament will on December 13 and 14 host the tenth National Dialogue, commonly known as Umushyikirano. The dialogue is a platform where Rwanda's officials at central and local level, discuss with communities from around the country and Diaspora, issues regarding national development and social welfare.

According to Protais Musoni, the Minister in charge of cabinet affairs who is also part of the steering committee preparing the Dialogue, this year participants will discuss issues regarding Rwanda's way towards being a self-reliable country. The theme proposed is 'Dignity, our goal is to be self-reliable' (Agaciro Intego yacu ni ukwigira).

"We have prepared five key discussions which all lead to the main theme," said Minister Musoni.

The discussions will focus on change of mindsets as the first step towards self-sustainability, knowledge and skills needed to achieve it, financial means required and their sources, EDPRS 2 as poverty reduction strategy towards the main goal (self-reliability). The last discussion will be on genocide ideology and what has been done in fighting it.

"The genocide ideology discussion will go together with the issue of 'problems' left by Gacaca and how these can be solved,' said the Minister.

As it started a decade ago, this time it will be an occasion to reflect on how it has contributed to economic transformation and social welfare of Rwandans.

"National Dialogue is a point of governance in practice, a kind of a trust-building bridge between leaders and the grass roots community. This is done through accountability," stressed Musoni, adding that this will be time to reflect and commend the progress made due to National Dialogue recommendations.

"Among them I can say poverty reduction strategies like Saccos, Girinka, and many other concepts that energized society to move forward."

According to Venantia Tugireyezu, minister in the president's office, 900 participants from the public, private sectors and Diaspora are expected to attend the Dialogue and those out of parliament will join the conversation through social networks (Twitter and facebook), SMSs, emails and radio call-ins.

"This year we will also have the youth (from the National YouthConnekt Convention) who will be at Telecom house and we'll be following the Dialogue live through video-conference system. They will be able to interact with those in the parliament."

The National Doalogue is stipulated in the article 168 of the constitution as a platform to discuss national development and social welfare related issues. "It shall bring together the President of the Republic and 5 representatives of each District, Municipality and Town Council designated by their peers. It shall be chaired by the President of the Republic and be attended by members of the Cabinet and Parliament, the Prefets of provinces and the Mayor of the City of Kigali and such others as may be determined by the President of the Republic," reads the constitution.

The National Dialogue takes place once a year, and debates, among others, on issues relating to the state of the nation, the state of local governments and national unity.

Resolutions of the Council are submitted to the concerned state institutions to enable them to improve their services to the population.

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