Rwanda: Number of Voters Up As Polls Budget Reduces

President Paul Kagame, who is in China for this year's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, casts his votes in the Rwandan embassy in Beijing.
2 September 2018

Rwanda's spending on the upcoming legislative elections has been going down from over Rwf7.65 billion in the 2008 polls to Rwf5.43 billion in 2013 election and Rwf5.4 billion in this year's polls according to statistics from the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

As the polls budget reduces, NEC figures indicate that the electorate has continued a growing trend from over 4.76 million in 2008 to above 6 million in 2013, and more than 7.2 million expected to vote for their representatives to the next parliament.

These statistics imply that the average spending per voter in Rwanda significantly decreased from $2.9 from 2008 to $1.4 in 2013 to $0.9 in 2018, making it an efficient election in terms of expenditure.

And, going by the expenses vis-à-vis voter population, Rwanda is spending well below the global election which is $4 per voter; and far less compared to Kenya where election cost per voter is $20, according to NEC.

Speaking to Sunday Times, the Chairperson of NEC, Prof. Kalisa Mbanda said that NEC has since 2008 consistently reduced election costs. Among the contributing factors to such cost effectiveness in the election budget, Mbanda cited increased use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in election management system, partnership with number of stakeholders, use of election volunteers, and locally procuring election materials including printing ballot papers and voter cards, as well as proper management of such materials.

"Our government has developed good partnership between its constituent institutions whereby they work together to achieve common goals, such as election management, efficiently," he said.

"Human resource capacity such as staff and volunteers have increased, while performance capacity has been enhanced, while there has been effective procurement, which also makes tasks to be executed without delays," he said.

75,000 volunteers have been mobilized and they only get allowances to help them carry out their duties.Polling stations and rooms have also been increasing, and they are currently 2,471 and 17,146 respectively.

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