UNDP/One UN Looking Forward to Making a Greater Impact on Rwanda’s Governance Sector

Feb 5, 2013

On 5th February, the Resident Coordinator of the One UN and Resident Representative of UNDP-Rwanda, Mr. Lamin Momodou Manneh paid a courtesy call to Hon. James Musoni, Minister of Local Government (Photo: Nausicaa Habimana Kantengwa)

Kigali, February 5th, 2013 Mr. Lamin M. Manneh, the Resident Coordinator of the One UN and Resident Representative of UNDP-Rwanda, paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Local Governments, Hon. James Musoni.

During the meeting, Mr. Manneh used that opportunity to commend the Government of Rwanda on the remarkable progress, the country is making in many development domains, notably in inclusive growth, poverty reduction and local governance. In this regard, Mr. Manneh saluted the visionary and competent leadership of President Paul Kagame and his Government. He also recalled the important role Minister Musoni had played in strengthening the work of the One UN in Rwanda in his previous cabinet post. He reassured the Minister of the commitment of the One UN team to accompany Rwanda on its transformational path. This is underscored by the fact that the incoming United Nations Development Assistance Plan is closely aligned to the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) 2013 – 2018.  

Hon. Musoni formally welcomed the Resident Coordinator to Rwanda, and commended the working style of the One UN in Rwanda. The Minister said “what I like about the UN Family is that you do not wait for us to complete the process of setting up these plans [EDPRS] to come along, but you are with us throughout the process of planning and implementation of strategies, and this has been very helpful ... as far as our Ministry is concerned, we really appreciate the support we have been getting from the UN in the governance, decentralization, and rural development sectors. These are very important projects, which inform the EDPRS 2, in terms of rural development and settlement”. The Rwanda Governance Board CEO, Prof. Shyaka Anastase, and the Permanent Secretary of MINALOC, Mr. Vincent Munyeshyaka, further commended the UN support, especially the working relations they have been developing with UNDP-Rwanda. 

As pointed out by Hon. Musoni, the Ministry of Local Governments is in charge of promoting good governance, territorial administration, community development, local economic development, social protection, rural settlement, decentralization, media development, electoral processes, political parties, civil society organizations’ registration and functioning, and unity and reconciliation. The Ministry is also accountable for three Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) areas, namely social protection; rural development; and Decentralization, Citizen Participation, Empowerment, Transparency and Accountability (DCPETA).

For future collaboration between the One UN and the Ministry of Local Governments, the Minister highlighted three key areas for possible collaboration with the One UN Rwanda: 1) Capacity building of the media sector, with an objective of making the sector even more vibrant and professional: “Media plays a very significant role in political, economic and social development. It’s a sector that we cannot afford to leave behind” said Hon. Musoni; 2) Institutional support: As the Ministry is going to be responsible for implementing most of the EDPRS 2 programs at grassroots level, it will need support in organizing its work by setting up systems of coordination, planning, and organization; 3) “One of the flagships in the EDPRS II, is a program of rural development through organized rural settlement, the Integrated Development Programme (IDP), which the One UN has been promoting. The Minister wishes continuation of the project with an emphasis on governance and rural development.

The Permanent Secretary added to this that rural settlement is an enabling factor for the Government’s development agenda in its goal to make Rwanda a middle-income country by 2020. That “for this we need to have a very steady economic growth of 11.25% annually”. He added that agriculture constituted a major component of the Government’s economic growth and therefore it is essential that future cooperation with the One UN avails support in that area. Another area Mr. Munyeshyaka pointed out relates to improving understanding of management chain processes of project design, monitoring and implementation within the Ministry.

Mr. Manneh responded to the Minister’s request by stating that “we have been discussing this issue in the office recently within the context of our proposed support to Rwanda’s Transformational Agenda: in the context of that support area, we want to target some of the key Government institutions, which will be at the forefront of the transformational agenda”.

Ms. Nadine Rugwe, the Head of the Democratic Governance and Peace Consolidation Unit highlighted the specifics of the current support areas of UNDP under the One UN framework, which include among others support to democratic elections, support to Rwanda’s governance assessment, support to national media capacity development, support to the decentralization process, and support to the justice sector. Ms. Rugwe also talked about the upcoming 5-year programme cycle, which will start next July.  “One key area of the new programme is Accountable Governance with 2 outcome areas, among which is Citizen Participation and Empowerment. "If you look at the support we are currently providing, it’s very much in line with Citizen Participation and Empowerment, and we hope to continue with the current partners, and maybe with other partners, depending on the priorities defined by the Government and the negotiations between partners”.

In his intervention, Mr. Matthias Zana Naab added, “in the next programming cycle, we are trying to become more comprehensive, and to consolidate all the small projects into broad programs, so as to make more impact. The One UN in general is also moving towards supporting flagships. What this means is that in the area of governance, we will be looking up to all the partners to see to what extent we, as the One UN, can develop a broad flagship project in conjunction with many partners which could take 5 years and which would make a bigger impact. Discussions around these flagships will be starting very soon as we finalize our UNDAP as well”.

The Minister concluded “by welcoming the move from scattered projects to the implementation of flagships programs which have more impact we agree with you in having a programme which covers a long period. We have been discussing it with the Rwanda Governance Board and we are in agreement with your approach”.  Prof. Shyaka added, “we are very sure that it’s a better offer that we can have and it’s a better investment that UNDP will make”.

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