Rwanda: RGB Survey Highlights Major Development Issues, Remedies

22 October 2020

Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), through its Citizen Report Card (CRC) has indicated that there are problems that need to be addressed with special attention in line with fast-tracking national development.

The CRC findings are contained in RGB's activity report that it presented to Parliament on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

CRC is an annual publication which is produced to ascertain the levels of community satisfaction with regard to services rendered.

Its purpose is to provide public agencies and policymakers with feedback from users on the quality and adequacy of public services delivered at the grassroots level.

Agriculture: Poor mechanisation, value addition

In the agriculture and livestock sector, RGB noted that despite its importance to the country's economy, there are still issues in the service delivery in the agriculture sector as it was revealed by the CRC 2020.

The report indicated that a whopping 73 per cent of [the interviewed] Rwandans expressed that they were not satisfied with the agriculture mechanisation service.

Agriculture mechanisation refers to the development and use of machinery that replace human and animal power in agricultural processes - including tractors to till the land, planting, and harvesting machines such as rice threshers.

Another service that scored low is irrigation as 70.6 percent of the respondents reported that they were dissatisfied with it.

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, only about 60,000 hectares are irrigated in Rwanda out of about 1.5 million hectares of land designed for agriculture.

Rwanda has a target to increase the irrigated land to 102,000 hectares by 2024, which is a very demanding target given the cost of irrigation per hectare - estimated at $10,000 (about Rwf9 million), and the limited funding to agriculture.

Also value addition to agricultural and livestock produce - through agro-processing - were not appreciated by 69.7 percent and 67.5 percent of Rwandans respectively.

The report recommended that responsible institutions should devise strategies to tackle such problems so that get the inputs they need in order to increase production and income.

Education: school dropout, inadequate infrastructure

RGB said that Rwanda set a target to become a knowledge-based economy, which makes education the key mainstay to achieving such a goal.

However, the CRC 2020 showed that there are still challenges hindering the development of the education sector, especially in primary and secondary schools.

The report found that 70 percent of citizens see school dropout as a pressing issue adversely affecting the education progress, while 68 percent think that promoting students [to a higher class level] without merit or good performance was a threat to education quality.

Also, 63.1 percent of the respondents said that insufficient infrastructure - such as well-equipped laboratories and libraries, the internet, and computers are to blame for derailing the education improvements.

Other issues affecting the education sector include overcrowding in schools, which was reported by 61.7 percent of Rwandans.

These issues, the report said, are recurrent in CRC annually, recommending that there is a need to develop strategies to address them in a long-lasting manner.

Family problems: teenage pregnancies, domestic violence

According to the report, it has been realised that teenage pregnancies (as expressed by 83.1 percent of respondents), polygamy and adultery (73 percent), domestic violence (72.2 percent), as well as divorce (57.6 percent), are the top hindrances to family.

The report advised that these issues should be addressed by concerned institutions, through concerted efforts, so that family is successful and prosperous.

Overall, the average citizen satisfaction for service delivery is 71.3 percent, according to CRC 2020, compared to 70.4 percent reported by CRC 2019.

The security sector continued to lead the ranking, with 91.6 percent compared to 89.4 percent in the previous survey, while agriculture kept lagging behind with 58.5 percent, though it registered 3.5 percentage points increase from 55 percent in the CRC 2019.

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