4 October 2018

Rwandans Feel Safe, Trust Security Agencies - Report

Most Rwandans feel they are safe and secure thanks to the strong working relationship between the citizens and security agencies, which also demonstrates that people's properties are safe, according to a new report.

The pillar of safety and security was the best performing aspect of governance in the Rwanda Governance Scorecard (RGS) 2018.

RGS is a bi-annual publication by Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), which gauges the state of governance in the country by measuring a number of indicators.

The fifth edition of the RGS, which was released in Kigali yesterday, indicates that the pillar of safety and security continues to take the lead with 94.97 per cent.

Eight pillars were measured, including the rule of law, political rights and civil liberties, participation and inclusiveness, safety and security, investing in human and social capital, control of corruption and transparency and accountability, quality of service delivery, as well as economic and corporate governance.

The most improved pillar in the latest report is the rule of law with an increase of 4 per cent.

The least performing pillar is the quality of service delivery with 74.25 per cent marks.

Overall, the report's findings indicate that all pillars performed above 70 per cent, with 4 out of 8 scoring above 80 per cent, while close to 60 per cent of all indicators as well as nearly 60 per cent of all variables showed excellent performance (80 per cent and above).

The Chief Executive Officer of RGB, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, said the findings are a testimony of the country's improvements in governance.

"This clearly shows that Rwanda is making commendable strides to cementing accountable governance and building a social developmental democratic state," he wrote in a foreword to introduce the report to the public.

Religious leader at the 5th Rwanda Board Scorecard launch in Kigali yesterday. Nadege Imbabazi.

If compared with the previous edition, RGS 2018 indicates that improvements were made in different areas, especially in the rule of law, which registered an improvement of 4 per cent from 79.68 to 83.68 per cent, and safety and security which increased by 2.35 per cent from 92.62 to 94.97 per cent.

Experts at the event to release the report urged all stakeholders to work harder to improve the quality of service delivery, explaining that without good performance in this area the rest of the achievements can hardly be sustainable.

The Director for Political Affairs at the African Union Commission, Prof Khabele Matlosa, told delegates at yesterday's launch of the Rwanda Governance Scorecard that the issue of service delivery is common across many countries in Africa and needs to be given special attention.

"We need to take it seriously and respond urgently because it's the core of the issue when it comes to governance," he said about service delivery.

Quality of service delivery improved by 1.32 per cent, from 72.93 per cent to 74.25 per cent, which left many experts calling for more improvements in this area in the future.

Among major policy recommendations in the Rwanda Governance Scorecard 2018 include the need to design and operationalise a long-term strategy regarding social protection programmes in the country in order to address the current challenges of human security.

Designing a strategy to increase district and secondary cities' own revenues in order to fully achieve decentralisation objectives and local economic development also featured among the report's recommendations, along with strengthening the national strategy of savings to increase the savings rate in line with the National Transformation Strategy.

Improving infrastructure, especially roads and rural transport in all districts to improve the agriculture productivity and access to markets as well as increasing citizen participation in development process, community transformation, and accountability were also recommended.

The report also made recommendations in sectors of trade and energy, indicating that there is need to design and operationalise multi-year innovative approaches to increase Rwanda's export capabilities to reduce the trade deficit and improve the overall status of the balance of payments, as well as design and operationalise a multi-year national strategy geared towards reducing in five years at least 80 per cent of charcoal and firewood consumption by switching to gas and electricity.

The report also recommends that a multi-year nationwide strategy for sustainable urbanisation and rural settlement needs to be designed and operationalised as an imperative to achieve a middle-income economy status.

The country also needs to design and operationalise a multi-year nationwide strategy for mainstreaming climate change resilience into development planning, the report adds.

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