Kagame: Rwanda’s Development Course Unstoppable


case geneva; font-size: small;”>Following a first visit alongside President Museveni during which the promise of a 12 year basic education school was made, President Kagame joined hands with the residents of Nyarugunga to build drainage that will serve the newly completed school as well as the community.

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Addressing the residents of Nyarugunga on Saturday, President Kagame emphasized the importance of perseverance in achieving self reliance:

“Development begins with a change of mindset and must be followed by action. If our determination is followed by action, nothing will stand in the way of Rwanda achieving its goals.”

Recognizing the role of partnerships in building the Nyarugunga 12 Year Basic education school, President Kagame reminded residents to use this support to build their own capacity to contribute to transforming Rwanda:

“Development is up to each and every one of you. Let us begin with what is within our means, work even harder together for the benefits of all Rwandans.”

Umuganda is a mandatory community service day from 8:00am to 11:00am, on the last Saturday of each month.

The day is called umunsi w’umuganda, meaning “contribution made by the community which is designed to be a day of contribution and building the country by citizens themselves.

By law all able bodied persons above the age of 18 and below 65 are expected to participate in volunteer community work. The start of this practice goes back to colonial times and is still practiced today.

Participation in Umuganda is usually supervised by a manager, or Umudugudu chairperson who oversees the effectiveness and efficiency of community participation.

On this day, business activity halts, public transportation is limited, and people are seen everywhere working. People participate in cleaning streets, cutting grass and trimming bushes along roads, or repairing public facilities or building houses for vulnerable persons.

People with particular skills offer their services for free on this day. For example, doctors may offer free medical examination.

The benefits of Umuganda are not merely economic. The day is intended to build community involvement and strengthen cohesion between persons of different background and levels.

One such a benefit is that people can access authorities to articulate their needs and voice opinions on various issues.

The labour cost from Umuganda contributes to national development programs.

Officials say by reaping the rewards of the volunteer labor and by having more capital to invest in the country, Umuganda has contributed to the growth and development of the Rwanda .


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