Rwanda, Sierra Leonean Lawmakers to Strengthen Ties

A delegation of visiting members of the Sierra Leonean parliament has said that they are keen on critically looking at the Rwanda's best practices with view to adopting them back home.

Such practices, they said, include empowering women in decision-making processes.

The delegation, composed of eight lawmakers, is in the country on a five-day study tour during which they will tour different activities with special interest on exchanging best practices.

Speaking after meeting his Rwandan counterpart Donatille Mukabalisa yesterday, the Speaker of the Sierra Leonean Parliament, Dr Abass C. Bundu, said that there is a lot they can gain from their Rwandan colleagues.

"It has been a wonderful experience, we interacted with the Speaker, the deputy Speaker, Members of Parliament and various chairpersons of committees, and they shared what they do and how they do it. And we have learned great things," he said.

"We have many similarities with Rwanda, like the civil war which lasted eleven years and killed many people. We have specifically been here to learn from the experience of the Rwandan Parliament," he added.

He emphasised that they were surprised by how Rwanda empowered women by putting in place an environment that ensures many women join decision-making positions.

"For instance, in our parliament of 146 members, we only have 18 women. Here, we learned that women representation in parliament is over 60% which is even more than double the threshold that is prescribed in your constitution. So that is a huge milestone and certainly it provides a platform and experience to learn from," he noted.

"We will see how best we can implement what we have observed here, he said.

On her part, Speaker Mukabalisa said that the visit would enhance existing bilateral relations and explained what such a visit means a lot for Rwandans.

"It means a lot for us, for our country and for the parliament as well, when people appreciate what you do and wish to learn from your practices it is really valuable. And, also, it encourages us to be more proactive," she explained

The Sierra Leonean delegation are also due to meet with several government officials, members of civil society, the business community, and visit Kigali Genocide Memorial and Rubavu border.

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