In a bid to deliver targets outlined in Rwanda's Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) particularly in the land management sector, LandNet Rwanda Chapter has pledged to work closely with government entities in realising rural development through proper management of land.
The pledge was made during a consultative meeting between officials from LandNet Rwanda Chapter, Rwanda Natural Resource Authority (RNRA) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
According to Annie Kairaba, the national Coordinator of LandNet Rwanda, there is clear evidence of commitment from both the government and LandNet to develop strategies that will ensure the successful implementation of the EDPRS 2 development roadmap.
Kairaba is also the director of Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development (RISD), a local NGO.
"Our contribution will include engaging the people on policies through community participation and we will give feedback to policymakers on what is working and what is not working. But particularly in the land sector, we are going to monitor how several policies are implemented and collect people's views which we will share with policymakers," said Kairaba.
EDPRS 2 is planned for implementation between 2013 and 2018 and is expected to deliver the country to a middle income status. During its implementation, the economy is expected to grow at an average 11.5 per cent.
According to Ariane Zingiro, a social sector policy and programmes expert in the Ministry of Finance, the civil society should contribute to the realisation of EDPRS2.
"The civil society has been engaged in the elaboration of the EDPRS 2 and it is time to help in its implementation phase," said Zingiro.
She said, "they should continue monitoring these priorities under EDPRS 2 and give us feedback from the citizens because this is not just a government programme."
She pointed out that if Rwanda is to reduce poverty to below 30 percent by 2018, the entire country has to own the programme.
Speaking about the role of civil society in land management, Deputy Director General of RNRA, Eng. Didier Sagashya said that the CSOs should be able in position to monitor government activities and advise where necessary.
"They can gather ideas and package them in a way that would influence change in a certain policy. The CSOs can as well contribute to research - we have so many issues related to land and families which can be addressed through researche. Also we want to engage the CSOs in the implementation of several activities such as integrated land use planning since they can engage and get ideas from the citizens on how best we can use our land," said Sagashya.
According to Sagashya, the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority is committed to provide technical information to LandNet Rwanda members as a major civil society forum that deal with land issues.
Established in September 2000, the Rwanda Chapter of LandNet aims at contributing to equitable and sustainable land reform through inclusive actions and processes.