4 August 2017

Rwanda Among Safest Countries Globally - New Gallup Report

Rwanda continues to feature as one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new Gallup Global Law and Order report.

The report has ranked Rwanda 11th globally and 2nd in Africa with over 87 per cent of citizens saying that they feel safe and confident in the security organs.

Singapore was ranked top in the report followed by Uzbekistan and Iceland at 97 per cent and 95 per cent and 92 per cent, respectively, with Venezuela coming last at 42 per cent.

Algeria is the only African country that came ahead of Rwanda, at 90 per cent.

The Gallup Law and Order Index measures people's sense of personal security as well as their experiences with law enforcement. The report is based on interviews with adults in 141 countries in 2016.

In Rwanda, the report's authors sampled and interviewed over 1000 respondents to get their take on how safe they felt and their confidence in local security structures.

Among the questions posed to respondents include: "In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the local police force? Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?

"Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member? Within the past 12 months, have you been assaulted or mugged?"

'Index crucial'

The report's authors said the index is crucial for governments and leaders as there is often a strong co-relation between security and economic and social development.

Local security stakeholders say that the confidence in the security systems and the level of security has been achieved through cooperation with citizens as well as among security organs in the country.

Speaking to The New Times, Police Spokesperson Theos Badege said the development has been achieved through cooperation with citizens.

"Security had been citizen-centred and driven whereby the community is part of the solution. We have initiatives such as Community Policing, among others. We build capacity among community members and we have created a bond with them making them part solutions to security," he said.

Badege also noted the role of continuous professionalisation of the police force which has created public trust in the Force.

"The leadership of Rwanda has prioritised security as one of the top deliverables," Badege added.

Experts say the favourable ranking is crucial as the country seeks to establish itself as a top tourist destination as well as a business hub in the region.

They note that by guaranteeing security at a time when many countries face security concerns, Rwanda stands a high chance of attracting more investments and tourists.

Commenting on the report, Rwanda Governance Board deputy chief executive Usta Kayitesi said the ranking reflects the milestones the country has made toward ensuring the safety of citizens.

"With Rwandans having seen the real insecurity to the extent of genocide, safety of citizens ensures that they can feel free to develop their country and invest in it," she said.

Kayitesi added that the perception by the citizens debunks allegations of "climate of fear" in the country as had been expressed by some international media outlets.

Security ensures that citizens can go about exercising their democratic rights such as participating in elections without fear, she noted.

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