Itorero is one of the Rwanda’s Home Grown Solutions in the governance cluster and is regarded mainly as a cultural-centred programme. It is a holistic training system that includes civic education exercises, cultural values, patriotism and social political development of Rwandans. Itorero was initiated during the reign of King Ruganzu I Bwimba at around 1312 A.D.
The traditional Itorero was a cultural school where Rwandans would learn about their language, their history, social relations, sports, dancing, songs, patriotism and national defence. Itorero was created so that people acquire a good and deep understanding of their culture. The participants were encouraged to critically discuss, explore and analyse Rwandan cultural values. The tradition of Itorero also provided formative training for future leaders.
From 1924 to 1994, Itorero was banned by the colonial rule and further by the post independence regimes. Itorero lost its significance which resulted in distortions of the Rwandan culture and breakdown of Rwandan social fabric, mutual support and selfless service to the nation. These distortions are indubitably among the main causes of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which devastated the Rwandan society. In the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and in an effort to rebuild the country, Itorero was revived in 2007 under the new political dispensation that values the Home Grown Solutions