21 February 2013

Rwanda: RGB On Course to Harmonize Civil Society Organizations

The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) in collaboration with the Immigration and Emigration Directorate officials have expressed their commitment to ensure harmonization among civil society organizations operating in the country for the benefit of Rwandans.

Prof Anasthase Shyaka, the CEO of RGB, noted that their intention is to see these organizations participating actively and effectively in the development of the country through the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF). Therefore, there is a need for an effective mechanism of monitoring their actions and providing them with advice where necessary to ensure that they serve Rwandans as they commit themselves to do, he said.

Shyaka was on Thursday addressing vice mayors in charge of economic affairs, directors of good governance, immigration and emigration officers from all districts and focal persons in charge of international NGO activities coordination from all ministries who gathered in Kigali for a two-day conference to look for better collaboration between the organizations and the government for the benefits of the communities.

The country counts around 165 registered NGOs, though there are others that are not registered. Yet officials claim that their impact is still low. Sheikh Saleh Habimana, the head of NGOs, faith-based organizations and political parties division in RGB, said that the output from civil society organizations is still disproportional with their budget.

"Their combined financial means are double the annual national budget, but we see little impact on the ground," noted Habimana.

He noted that NGOs are supposed to spend 20% of their budget on the functioning of the organization and 80% on activities that are meant to improve life of their beneficiaries.

Duplication of activities by different organizations operating in the same field has been identified as one of the main challenges that makes the organizations less productive than what could be expected.

RGB registers local NGOs and faith-based organizations while the Immigration and Emigration Directorate registers international NGOs.

The conference will also come up with effective mechanisms to control the way in which some of these organizations get funds. Habimana said that they have noticed found cases of organizations receiving money illegally which can have negative impact on national economy or be used in destructive actions.

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