Umushyikirano 2014

Common Vision, New Momentum | Icyerekezo Kimwe, Twongere Imbaraga

Introduction

Umushyikirano is an annual forum that brings together leaders and citizens to discuss the country’s development. Also known as the National Dialogue Council, this year the event will be held alongside the meeting of the Advisory Council for the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide. The two events will take place on 18-19 December 2014 at the Parliament of Rwanda and will be chaired by the President of the Republic.

The annual Youth Connekt Convention will also take place as part of this year’s Umushyikirano. The convention will bring together more than 2,000 young people including entrepreneurs and professionals, innovators, artists, students, and young people living with disabilities. Attendees of the convention will follow and participate in the National Dialogue Council live from Petit Stade in Remera, Kigali. Two communities outside of Kigali will also join Umushyikirano via the national fibre optic video conferencing system.

Background

Umushyikirano is an annual event that gives Rwandans from all walks of life the opportunity to ask questions directly to their leaders. The event is chaired by the President and attended by members of the Cabinet and Parliament, representatives of the Rwandan community abroad, local government, media, the diplomatic community and others invited by the President. Governed by Article 168 of the Constitution, Umushyikirano is a forum where participants debate issues relating to the state of the nation, the state of local government and national unity. Umushyikirano draws its strength from the direct participation of citizens in holding their leaders to account.

Since the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda has undertaken an ambitious nation-building project with the aim of becoming a knowledge-driven, middle-income country by 2020. Significant progress in achieving this goal has been made, but challenges remain. Therefore, this year’s National Dialogue Council will serve as a platform for all Rwandans to reflect on the country’s progress and share ideas to solve ongoing challenges.

The proposed topics for Umushyikirano 2014 aim to highlight the progress made towards Vision 2020 and the steps needed to safeguard these achievements. The topics will also highlight the challenges Rwanda faces and stimulate discussion about the solutions and the strategies needed to reach the country’s desired pace of development.
The theme for this year’s National Dialogue Council is ‘Common Vision, New Momentum’ | ‘Icyerekezo Kimwe, Twongere Imbaraga’.

Discussion Topics

Topic 1: Safeguarding our Achievements for a Better Future

Rwanda has registered tremendous progress over the past 20 years – politically, socially and economically. These achievements are the foundation of the country’s future and a legacy for generations to come. It is therefore the responsibility of all Rwandans, young and old, to safeguard them and continue to strive for the country’s development.

Topic 2: Family – A Foundation for National Prosperity

Rwanda’s development depends on the health and prosperity of its families. Families also play an important role in preserving the country’s cultural heritage and national values. The government, as per Article 27 of the Constitution, is required to enact legislation and build institutions that protect the family, especially the child and the mother.
Access to quality education, healthcare, financial stability, proper nutrition and gender equality are just some of the requirements for a family to thrive. Therefore, this session will discuss the role of the government in supporting families. The discussion will focus on strengthening existing programmes that support families. It will also identify the challenges faced by families and propose solutions.

This session will include a presentation on the progress Rwanda has made across multiple sectors, from health, education and security, to politics, economic development and environmental protection. It will identify the achievements that need to be protected, the challenges to be addressed, and the role of all Rwandans in achieving new momentum as we strive for shared prosperity.

Format and Participants

During each session, a lead institution will give a short presentation that will be followed by discussions. The event will be covered live on TV, radio and streamed online and citizens will be encouraged to participate through various platforms including SMS, e-mail, calls, Twitter and Facebook. The Prime Minister’s Office will ensure all recommendations from the meeting are captured and will monitor and report on the implementation of the resolutions passed.
About 1,000 people will attend Umushyikirano, including:

-Cabinet Members
-Governors of Provinces / Mayor of Kigali City and District Mayors
-Local Government / Community Representatives
-Representatives of the Judiciary
-Senior Commanders of RDF, RNP, NISS and RCS
-Permanent Secretaries / Secretary Generals of Ministries
-Heads of Public Institutions
-Members of Parliament from both chambers
-Members of the Diplomatic Corps
-Representatives of Political Parties
-Representatives of the Private Sector, Faith Based Organisations and Civil Society
-Heads of High Learning Institutions and Universities
-Representatives of Rwandans Living Abroad
-Friends of Rwanda