May 21, 2019-  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Rwanda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Rwanda Cooperation Initiative (RCI). Hon. Minister Richard Sezibera of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation witnessed the signing ceremony. This partnership will boost Rwanda’s role in South-South Cooperation and allow RCI to tap into UNDP’s global networks, knowledge facilities, etc.

Below is the full opening remarks at the occasion:


Honourable Minister

CEO of the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative (RCI)

Staff of the RCI and my UNDP colleagues

Ladies and gentlemen, all protocols observed

Mwiriwe, good afternoon!

It is a real pleasure for me to be here today to sign this MOU with the RCI.

It is also a good opportunity for me to witness how far the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative has come since we had our first exploratory meetings in September last year.

Now, Louis, I see that you have brand new premises in which I am told everything, from the tiles to the ceiling, is made in Rwanda. This is a perfect fit for RCI’s mission to share and promote Rwandan best practices and innovations with the global community!

Let me also commend you on the very professional team that you have in place, and that worked tirelessly with us to finalize this Memorandum of Understanding that we are about to sign.  In fact, let me first of all congratulate them and congratulate you for the great work you are doing in getting the RCI up to speed.

This MoU is first a celebration of the work done on your end to get the RCI established. From our end, it signals UNDP’s intention to put our global networks, knowledge facilities and funding behind the RCI to assist it to fulfil its mission in earnest. UNDP has a tradition of supporting the development of South-South and Triangular Cooperation initiatives, allowing former developing countries such as Mexico, Turkey and Singapore to set up their own development agencies and centres of excellence.

Moreover, we believe that it is not only money that important for development; knowledge is also a currency of development as well. This is why both globally, and here in Rwanda we support the generation, codification and sharing of knowledge through south-south and trilateral cooperation. Of course, here in Rwanda we have been supporting the development and scaling up of many Home-Grown Solutions – including the Gacaca courts and Abunzi Mediation, instruments like the Rwanda Governance ScoreCard and Citizens Report Card, the Electronic Case Management System in the Justice Sector, Fonerwa, and many other Rwandan initiatives. Currently, we are working with MINECOFIN and RGB to document many of Rwanda’s experiences through the latest National Human Development Report on Home-Grown Solutions due to be published next quarter. Rwanda may be small, but it has big ideas that many other countries can learn from. And as we saw from the 2015 global HDR, Rwanda was ranked as the best performer country in the world in terms of making progress on human development.

It is therefore only natural for UNDP to support RCI in its mission to spread Home-Grown Solutions globally and make of Rwanda a key player in South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Thanks to this MoU and to the funding mobilized, RCI will be able to access the best available knowledge and resources through a mix of twinning arrangements, on demand technical support, seminars and other capacity building activities. In parallel, this partnership will continue to support the research work started by RGB, fostering the codification and dissemination of Home-Grown Solutions and offer a flexible framework for the evolution of our cooperation.

To conclude, let me again express how proud we are to see the rapid development of the RCI. We are happy to have been there since the beginning and this MoU marks a first step in our mutual engagement.  

Murakoze cyane, thank you!

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