Candidates campaigning to represent Northern Province in the upper chamber of parliament have promised to actively engage Rwandans living abroad in the country's development agenda.
They made the commitment on Tuesday at a joint rally in Gakenke District.
Seven candidates, dominated by academics, are competing for two positions to represent Northern Province. Three of them are women.
Dr Leatitia Nyinawamwiza, the Principal of University of Rwanda College of Agriculture and Animal Veterinary Medicine (UR-CAVM), is one of the candidates who are keen on engaging the Rwandan diaspora to actively participate in the country's development.
She stressed that the potential of Rwandans living and working abroad is yet to be fully exploited for the country's development.
"In my career, I have had the opportunity to travel a lot, which has exposed me to interactions with Rwandans, especially young people who are very skilled and patriotic but are not engaged in the progress that our the country is making," she noted.
She added: "Rwandans are everywhere all over the world... so let's invite them to share knowledge, technology and experiences."
Nyinawamwiza went on to say that, if elected, she will strive to advocate for the creation of what she calls 'work in Rwanda scheme', which will facilitate diaspora Rwandans to participate in development activities back home.
Dr Consolé Sibosiko too said that she plans to work with Rwandan communities abroad so they can participate in addressing the pressing challenges the country faces.
Other candidates in Northern Province include Richard Mugenzi, Dr Faustin Habineza, Gaspard Rwanyiziri, Chantal Kabasinga, and Vedaste Kabasha.
Joyce K. Bamwine, Commissioner at National Electoral Commission (NEC), who was present at the rally said that so far the campaigns have been incident-free across the country.
"There have been no incidents reported so far. Candidates are presenting their manifestos to the electoral colleges as expected of them," she said.
She, however, reminded the candidates to continue campaigning while abiding by the electoral laws.
Countrywide elections for the 12 candidates that will be elected through colleges are slated for September 16.
A day after there will be election for one senator to represent lecturers and researchers in public institutions, while on September 18, private institutions will also pick one senator.