Experts in the areas of democracy and local governance convened this April 2013, Kigali for technical validation of the study findings on Rwanda’s case for local democracy and local governance: Rwanda’s case bench-marked against the Aberdeen Principles.
The validation workshop was chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr Vincent Munyeshyaka.
The purpose of the study was to carry out an assessment of local democracy and local governance through benchmarking Aberdeen Principles on the local government system in Rwanda to establish gaps and suggest appropriate recommendations for further improvements.
The study was funded by the Commonwealth secretariat and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and it was supervised by the Rwandese Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA).
The study established that, the Aberdeen Agenda and its 12 principles have a significant convergence with Rwanda’s decentralization pillars, which include among others, citizen participation in decision making, accountability and transparency, equitable and adequate resource allocation and the freedom to elect local representatives.
The integration of Aberdeen Agenda was stated way back in 2001 when Rwanda embarked on decentralization journey.
The study findings indicate areas of improvement in local government system that need integration and alignment with Aberdeen Agenda and provide suggestions for improvement and strengthening, especially capacity building for effective leadership.
The Commonwealth Local Government Conference was held in March 2005 in Aberdeen, Scotland, under the theme, “Deepening Local Democracy” and it led to the establishment of the Aberdeen Agenda, known as “The 12 Principles for Local Democracy and Good Governance” that were formally approved by Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) member organizations on March 18th 2005.