The New Times (Kigali)

13 December 2012

Rwanda: National Dialogue - Be a Part of Our Democracy

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

editorial

The 2012 annual National Dialogue, otherwise known as the Umushyikirano, is opens this morning at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura. The meeting, which will bring together central and local government leaders, the private sector, members of the Diaspora and ordinary citizens, is a great opportunity for all of us to be an integral part of our own democratic process.

The two-day meeting will allow us to take stock of our progress as a nation, while uncovering the things that are not going so well.

Rwanda is criticized by some in the international community for being undemocratic; however, the fact that each and every Rwandan can have their voice heard and hold their leaders to account in real time, is in fact, a challenge to other, supposedly more mature democracies. We have lessons that we can teach them.

This year's Umushyikirano is especially exciting because of Agaciro Fund. The billions of Francs that we have contributed will be spent depending on what we choose. Therefore, we must all make sure that our thoughts on how best to utilise these funds are heard by our leaders.

It is both our right and responsibility to make sure that we participate in this important occasion, either through text messaging, social media or by making phone calls. This occasion is a celebration of our nationhood, and the all-inclusiveness of our governance. Therefore, let us make sure that we don't waste this great opportunity to have our voices heard.

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