A delegation 24 officials from Rhineland-Palatinate are in talks with the government on a new partnership between Rwandan districts and Rhineland-Palatinate municipalities in the area of local governance exchange.
Through a two-year project of cooperation which will end in 2020, the partnership aims at promoting mutual exchange between Germany and Rwanda through municipal partnerships and promoting professional exchanges between municipalities, local government associations and training.
Speaking at the meeting which brought together government officials, including district leaders and mayors of Rhineland-Palatinate Municipalities on Monday, Local Government minister Francis Kaboneka attributed the successful partnership to political will on both sides.
"What we need is to continue working hard so as to sustain and consolidate the registered achievements and move this partnership to another practical and productive level on all spheres," Kaboneka said.
In the area of local governance and economic development, Kaboneka said they wished to develop it further to see Rwandan districts learn and exchange their best practices with their counterparts in Rhineland-Palatinate municipalities and cities to have strong administrative entities in their day-to-day operations.
In addition, the government of Rwanda also expects to aquire expertise from Mayence public administration universities and communal academy to partner with Rwanda's Local Government Institute (LGI) to build capacities and carry out research in the interest of empowering decentralized administrative entities.
Dr. Carola Stein, the Head of Division at the Ministry of Interior, Infrastructure and Sports of Rhineland-Palatinate, said the new partnership in the governance area will hugely be built around people's interests.
"I think this is a very different form of development cooperation. It is a sort of cooperation where the human beings count first. It is not just about working together in giving money from here to there to work in different project phases, but the most important thing is to form friendship between our people and work together. The most important thing today is to learn from experience," she said.
Both parties will look into how to deal with global challenges such as climate change, urban planning, environment, waste management, localization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), proximity and quality service delivery, capacity building for staff and elected leaders, digitalization of administrative processes, institutional and organizational structuring and vocational training.
During their stay, the delegation will visit districts that are currently in cooperation with Rhineland-Palatinate, namely Karongi in Western Province, Nyamagabe, Ruhango and Gisagara in Southern Province as well as Ngoma in Eastern Province to discuss activities that should be included in the project before it starts.
In the past 35 years, Rwanda-Rhineland Palatinate cooperation has successfully been realized mostly in supporting infrastructure development, health and education sectors, promotion and exchange of culture and sports and capacity building for those engaged in the implementation of partnership activities in Rwanda.