Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: National Service Kicks Off With the Governance Month

The national service for youth has been launched together with the governance month. The launch took place on Tuesday in Rwamagana, where 1500 young Rwandans will be doing their national service.

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi said that the governance month must be seen as a way of promoting good governance principles. "The governance month will focus on hard work, improving service delivery, increasing access to health insurance and quality health care and promoting security through community policing," he said.

The Premier said that good governance is a necessary pillar for Rwanda to develop and it is paying off. "The good governance month will help us enhance our productivity as citizens and our community outreach programs as leaders. We the leaders will do our best to solve every query from citizens which might have been left behind by different community outreach programs," Habumuremyi explained.

Last year's governance month helped to solve more than 3000 problems from citizens countrywide.

The main theme for this year's governance month is "Good governance as a way of speeding the country's development and promoting self-reliance."

In this context, the Prime Minister said that the National Service is one of the ways to achieve self-reliance. "This is what makes good governance and national service two concepts that are tightly tied, with the latter being included in the former."

He added that National Service aims at allowing every citizen, especially the youth, to contribute to the country's development. He stressed that national service is a traditional method that Rwandans used to use to develop.

"Rwanda will benefit much from your service; this is your time to start delivering for your country," Habumuremyi told the 1500 secondary school graduates gathered in Rwamagana. "As the first ever National service team, we hope that your activities will pay off. Don't disappoint us."

The youth in the national service will be constructing teachers' houses in their respective districts, helping in the campaign against different diseases (AIDS included), and help collect data on illiteracy and contribute to eradicating different problems in their communities.

The service takes three months and the participants will receive certificates after they have completed their work according to a signed performance contract between them and their respective local leaders. Countrywide, there are 40,730 fresh secondary school graduates who have been enlisted. According to an official from Itorero ry'Igihugu, the Eastern Province has the biggest number with 8,350 youth starting national service.

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