28 December 2012

Rwanda: National Service Starts Next Month

Around 50,000 graduates from secondary schools are expected to join a three-month national service starting January 21 countrywide, according to officials.

James Musoni, the Minister of the Ministry of Local Government (Minaloc), said the national service will focus on various issues such as sensitization and mobilization about good practices like family planning, customer care and administration, among others.

Egide Rugamba, the director general of planning at the ministry, explained that the students will be doing the service in their home district for an average of six hours per day, adding that local authorities will choose what to do depending on their priorities. "The expected outcome is about reinforcing patriotism among youth beyond any other interest," he said.

The Minaloc officials made the remarks on Friday in a media briefing after a quarterly meeting of the ministry and mayors and provincial governors that discussed the progress of Imihigo implementation, national service, the governance month and new land lease fees.

Musoni told journalists that they noticed a good progress of the district imihigo implementation in general, though he noted some unexpected cases that would hinder the implementation as wished in some districts.

"In general, imihigo implementations are on track," he pointed out, noting that some areas were faced with problems such as Kayonza suffering from the dry season as well as some partners who delayed to fulfill their duties.

Concerning the governance month scheduled to start on January 21, the Minister said that officials from both local and central government will reach out to people in their cells and sectors not only to deal with their issues on ground, but also talking to them about good governance.

Anastase Shyaka, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), mentioned that the governance month will mainly focus on governance for production where people will be sensitized about development aspects such as job creation and access to financial services among others. The month will feature games as well.

Though there have been consultations about new land lease fees since the 2011 national dialogue, Musoni said that consultations are still underway between district advisory councils and the national land center.

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