15 December 2012

Rwanda: Itorero Commission Will Promote Rwandan Values

The passing of a bill to establish the National Itorero Commission (NIC) is highly commendable. The commission is a platform to educate and train Rwandans on shared cultural values and taboos with a view to mobilising citizens to contribute towards national development.

It is yet another of a host of home-grown solutions that seem to have served the country well in various facets of national development.

The ideals of Itorero would easily be realised as the envisioned commission will have a broader mandate and an enlarged budget to implement its programmes more decisively.

Without doubt, the precursor to the new commission, Itorero, which was launched in 2008, as a task force operating under the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, has played a key role in promoting social cohesion and unity but with limited scope.

Colonial subjugation, coupled with injustices that culminated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, left much of the country in disarray, harming not only our national psyche but also blurring our roots and heritage as a people.

Preserving our cultural values by educating the population will go a long way in imparting such values to generations. This would eventually become well embedded in our national consciousness, thus safeguarding our integrity as a people.

Indeed unity is one of the core values of the Rwandan culture. The cohesiveness exhibited since the tragic events of 1994 shows just how far the country has come. The proposed commission will help consolidate unity and reconciliation achievements.

Ultimately, through this new body, we should aspire to continue perpetuating social cohesion and unity, values that underlie Rwanda's ideal of tranquillity, security and unprecedented economic growth.

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