The main activities in promoting good governance principles and best practices include Citizens mobilization and sensitization, identifying and promoting governance practices, enhancing participation in governance, highlighting and solving issues through problem-solving sessions and strengthening ways to inculcate integrity and accountability through accountable governance, where leaders are accountable to the people they lead.
The Government of Rwanda is committed to the promotion of good governance and Home Grown solutions. It is a long this background that Governance Month was initiated as a home grown, leading to promoting citizen participation in decision making process. The event is a home grown solution that enables citizens sit with leaders and solve issues of their concern.
The Rationale of Governance Month is to ensure that good governance can be best understood and expressed through Governance Clinics, policy dialogues, arts and sports, as a way to easily capturing the perception of the citizens. The fact that all the events are centredon citizens, the innovations takes into account the fact that good governance isreflected in the way a common person is involved in finding solutions to his problems, and the freedom to question whatever is not satisfactory or clear to them. They are made aware of their rights and obligations.
Governance Clinics – Problem-Solving Sessions :
Governance Clinics isa problem solving session between leaders and citizens ; the main purpose of governance clinic entails mobilisation of citizens and sensitizing them on their rights and obligations, empower them to participate in governance and encouraged to find solutions to issues raised by the fellow citizens.
Governance clinics in Mushikiri Sector,Bisagara Cell during 07/02/2013 in Kirehe district
GOOD GOVERNANCE CLUBS and GIRLS LEADERS’ FORUM
These students’ organisationshave been initiated in higher institutions of higher learning and universities as well as in strong secondary schools. The institutions were challenged to indulge in constructive criticism and research-based practices that would enable participation of student community in a bid to creating awareness to the citizens. It is against this background that the students opted to form governance clubs, and a girls’ forum through which they engage in the governance issues in order to contribute their ideas to the reconstruction of their country.
Conducting Inter – University Policy Debates on Governance Topics ;
Debate competitions in institutions of higher learning were organized as part of the good governance club activities by the students. They welcomed not only the idea of expressing their perception on governance, but alsothe ability to express themselvesin public, improvinglanguage skills andbuild confidence. The policy debate is the toolchosen to be used in all institutions of learning as the topics used are essentially policy related. Some motions used in debates include topics such as :“Rwanda should adopt agriculture rather than industry for economic development” ; “Foreign aid has done more harm than good to developing countries”.
Debate competitors from RTUC and ULK debating head on during inter-university competition 2014
GOOD GOVERNANCE COMPETITIONS-Umurenge/School Kagame Cup
Governance competitions in Umurenge and School Kagame Cup is a Football match for non- professionals from Sector to National level. This is the most interesting competition in that,the sport is enjoyed by all the youth, educated and uneducated alike. Football match is the main preferred game ad attracts many young ones in which they are taught governance issues.
Football was among competion disciplines which characterised the 2013 GM.
PROMOTING GOOD GOVERNANCE THROUGH POEMS, SONGS AND DANCES
Competitions at local level
Among other activities, governance competitions through songs, poems and dance are regularly organized from the Cell to the National level. People enthusiastically turn up for the events to be entertained and they are given message centring on good governance principles.They are aimed at enhancing the art of creativity, while making it easy to express themselves the way they understand and perceive governance.
National and Local officials attend Music, Dance and Poetry competitions in Karongi district
From the district level, the best qualified teams for the next stage of the competitions meet at the provincial level where the best performers from all the districts in a given province contest against each other and the overall winners subsequently qualify for the competitions at national level and awarded.
OPEN DAYS AS A WAY OF ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE
In the framework of celebrating decentralization while promoting governance for production, the launch of infrastructure and social welfare projects funded by the Government of Rwanda is carried out annually through Open days. These activities among others include modern markets, roads, bridges, health centres, classrooms and terraces in hilly area. This creates awareness among the people that the projects are not funded by Private sector but rather the government. It also brings about a sense of ownership to the benefit of the citizens.
RGB’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, with the Mayor of Karongi District during an Open Day.
THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN PROMOTING GOVERNANCE
The Governance Month, as an initiative to increase citizen participation and mainly aiming at solving citizens’ issues through governance clinics, is not only a concern of local governments and their constituencies but also calls for media involvement. The Government of Rwanda believes that the voice of non-state actors includes media is very crucial in governance. This section reveals how media was involved from the inception to the end of Governance month.
The media attending one governance clinic in Kirehe to capture issues raised on governance and broadcast for the benefit of all Rwandans.