A viewpoint of Rwanda’s Governance March, 2014 1
Author: Florence MUTESI
1. Introduction Rwanda’s governance can be defined as developmental with roots from traditional best practices or what can be called home grown Initiatives, thus Rwandan perspective in doing things. Rwanda has achieved impressive development progress since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Rwanda’s success in development has been accredited to consolidating gains in social development and accelerating growth while ensuring that those efforts will aid in the endeavor to mitigate risks to eroding the country’s hard-won political and social stability. In order to maintain social and political stability, the Government of Rwanda has taken on the task of ensuring that good governance practices exist throughout the country. This analysis will surmise the implementation of good governance and closely monitor its indicators which have had an effect on the county of Rwanda today.
2. Overview of Governance Governance is a broad concept and can refer to many a field. Worthy of note, however, is this definition quoted from World Bank Institute’s Home Page: “Governance consists of the 1
Ms. MUTESI Florence is the Director of Research at Rwanda Governance Board. She is an Associate and Advisor with Influence Africa, a regional organization based in South Africa as well as Organised for Governance & Sustainable Development (OGaSD). As a researcher and strategist in the same area, Ms. Mutesi is on the Steering Committee of Think Tank Network-Eastern Africa; a Member of Expert Group working on International Conference on Great Lakes Region’s Regional Governance Monitoring Framework; a Member of Expert Group working on the United Nations Economic Commission‘s Report on Governance in Africa and a Member of United Nation’s Expert Group working on Governance and Rule of Law Post 2015 MDGs. Ms. Mutesi has worked in the areas of policy analysis and research with Civil Society Organizations based in the USA: Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities under International Budget Partnership and Population Reference Bureau. In the capacity of Head of the Regional Bureau, she worked with The New Times Publications based in Rwanda. Ms. Mutesi holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the National University of Rwanda. She has attended various Policy research, advocacy and media training: She has a Certificate in Governance and Development in Africa from Centre of African Studies, London University; Certificate in Policies and Strategies for Rural Revitalization, MUSHAV scholarship at Weitz Centre for Development Studies, Israel; Certificate in Rule of Law in Post Conflict Countries from the East African Standby Force and Certificate in Truth and media from World Journalist Institute, USA. As a Researcher and Policy Analyst Ms. Mutesi is a member of Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network (GYAC), Peace and Collaborative Development Network and Methodspace Research Community. Ms. Mutesi is a Certified Trainer by Nu Quest Management Pte Ltd based in Singapore and as a writer and trainer of Rwandan Values Module, she is a Certified Trainer of Rwandan Values by the National Itorero Commission. Ms. Mutesi has authored various scientific research papers in various journals, in the area of Governance and Democracy.
traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them”. Overall, the world continues to underperform on governance. Over the past decade, dozens of countries have improved significantly on such dimensions of governance such as rule of law and voice and accountability. But a similar number of countries have experienced marked deteriorations, while others have seen short-lived improvements that are later reversed, and scores of countries have not seen significant trends one way or the other. In a seminar held in London in April 2009 entitled “Rwanda: 15 years after genocide – Challenges and pathways of everlasting peace and stability”, reports were generated that highlighted the patters and perspectives of governance in Rwanda. Referring to the “political governance” of Rwanda, the World Bank Institute offers an analysis of Rwanda’s performance in terms of governance between 1996 and 2009. The analysis is based on the well-known six dimensions of governance used by the Worldwide Governance Indicators (The WGI). The six WGI’s aggregate indicators of governance are as follows: a) Voice and accountability captures perceptions of the extent to which a country’s citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and a free media. b) Political stability and absence of violence measures the perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including domestic violence and terrorism. c) Government effectiveness captures perceptions of the quality of public services, the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility of the government’s commitment to such policies. d) Regulatory quality captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. e) Rule of law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence.
f) Control of corruption captures perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain, including both petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as (captures) the state by elites and private interests. Currently, there is much talk and discussion centered around the topics of “good governance” versus “governance”. This evolution in the use of the concept led some donors and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and The International Monetary Fund to condition their aid or loan on the degree of the country’s “good governance”. There are 8 characteristics of good governance or sometimes called principles of good governance, most of which are quite similar to the above-mentioned indicators of governance: participation, rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus oriented, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and efficiency and accountability. With everything measured on an equal scale, the only characteristic that is given higher esteem is voice and accountability or rather participation and accountability—is indeed the major indicator that political systems are in place in a given country. In fact, no matter how skillful and well-intended the leaders are, if they do not allow citizens’ participation and are not accountable to them, they cannot attest to being inspired by democratic values. Better governance helps lower poverty and improves living standards. Good governance also encompasses an aspect in which civic engagement is put on the highest priority. Research evidence points to a very high development dividend from good governance. There are multiple mechanisms through which capable public sector institutions, as well as an independent judiciary, property rights protection, civil liberties and press freedoms, and effective regulatory and anti-corruption institutions result in sustained, long-run development and poverty reduction. Governance has political, economic, and institutional dimensions. This includes how governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the government’s capacity to effectively formulate and implement sound policies and provide public services; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them. The main scope of good governance indicators are measured by the Worldwide Governance Indicators. These indicators include but are not limited to: voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence/terrorism, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption. Overall, the world continues to underperform on governance. However, over the past decade, dozens of countries have improved significantly on such dimensions of governance such as rule of law and voice and accountability. But a similar number of countries have experienced marked deteriorations, while others have seen short-lived improvements that are later reversed, and scores of countries have not seen significant trends in one way or the other. Serious governance 3
challenges can be found in every region of the world, and at all income levels. And subpar governance is an issue for rich and poor countries alike. Previous research indicates that when governance is improved by one standard deviation, infant mortality declines by two-thirds and incomes rise about three-fold in the long run. Such advances in governance are readily achievable where political will to implement reforms is present, since a one standard deviation improvement in governance constitutes just a fraction of the difference between the worst and best performers. Furthermore, governance failures within industrialized countries impact the world’s financial stability and overall growth prospects, as demonstrated by the costly repercussions of the recent financial crisis.
3. An overview of Rwanda’s Governance Following independence in 1962, Rwanda was ruled under two differing regimes and republics. The first republic headed by the Democratic Republican Movement party (MDRPARMEHUTU, 1961) and was dominated by politicians from the Southern part of Rwanda. The party members advocated for the rights of Hutu ethnic group, whom they said were majority yet oppressed as a result this led to total discrimination against people from other regions and the Tutsi in particular). The Second Republic ushered in by the 1973 Coup d’Etat was characterized by favoritism of Northern Rwanda, dominance of a circle of relatives of President Juvenal Habyarimana’s family, friends and that of the wife, who and the wife were influential in the government decisions taken at the time. The regime discriminated the Tutsi and the rest of other regions especially the Southern part of Rwanda in all spheres of life and, prepared and implemented the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Both the first and the second regimes were unable to meet almost all the indicators/principles of good governance such as rule or law, participation, inclusiveness and accountability due to the dominance of ethnic and regional discrimination that characterized them. It was not until Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) took over power after ending the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, that political governance became democratic, considering the Rwandan context (history and the present). RPF was from the start committed to putting in place an all-inclusive government, a government for national unity. Following the rebuild in the aftermath of the Tutsi Genocide, the RPF regime took on the task of instilling good governance values into the political system. The country then had to start its journey towards country reconstruction through the establishment of institutions and building their capacities as well as human capacity building. This was a crosscutting need, to institutions of accountability, rule of law and others that facilitate the enhancement of good governance. The World Bank data examines the supposed absence of essential indicators of good governance. It offers the advantage of allowing comparisons between different countries. When you select 4
Rwanda and consider a 7-year-period from 2003 to 2009, you will notice, among other things, that in terms of voice and accountability, Rwanda oscillates between the 10th and 25th Percentile over the seven years. On the whole, from 2003 to 2009, Rwanda’s governance scores are either between the 10th-25th Percentile, and the 25th-50th Percentile. It is for control of corruption where Rwanda succeeds in ranging between the 50th-75th Percentile and this only during the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.2 The higher score observed regarding the control of corruption indicator matches with what Transparency International Rwandan Chapter noted about 2013 Global Bribery results on Rwanda. Rwanda’s 9 out of 10 respondents accessed services without encountering any bribery. This was attributed to political will which has made the country to be now widely considered as the least corrupt country in Africa. However it is unfortunate that based on the national share of bribes, local authorities took the largest share of national bribe at 38.2 per cent, followed by the police at 26.4 per cent. “Institutions with the highest level of public interaction recorded the highest level of corruption”.3
4. Perspectives of governance Like many African countries from the time of Colonization, when Rwandese started losing their identity, there was not anything even close to democratic governance. The traditional way of being born with natural right of being a leader was lost (born with what they said, “One who was meant to be a King was born with a seed or a small drum in the hands). Even though the traditional way had its own disadvantages, the paradigm shift after ending monarchy in Rwanda was dark. The two, earlier mentioned regimes divided Rwandese and forced many to flee the country. Therefore after FPR stopping the Genocide and taking over power, the future of the country was to depend on the strength of democratic and honest politicians who put forward national interests before their own. Rwanda needed women and men who were capable and ready to work together, in order to, among other things: a. put in place political system where the people’s voice is heard and considered and where leaders are really accountable to the public. b. put an end to discrimination and guarantee equal opportunities to all Rwandan citizens by encouraging unity, forgiveness reconciliation and inclusiveness in general; c. put an end to impunity and ensure that the rule of law prevails and that victims receive fair compensations; 2
http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/sc_chart.asp The New Times Publication Interview with the Executive Director, Transparency International Rwanda, Apollinaire Mupiganyi., http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/ 3
d. put an end to issues of having Rwandan refugees in various parts of the world by facilitating their return. Indeed it is after achieving such noble goals, that Rwanda feels ready for a genuine sustainable development. Rwanda has recorded the 'best progress' since the year 2000, making it the "most successful" among all the post-conflict countries, says the 2013 Ibrahim Index on Africa Governance (IIAG). At the release of the usually much awaited annual index in London IIAG 2013 data from the various indicators analyzed, show that Rwanda is also the 'only country with year on year improvement'. The IIAG is a brainchild of Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim, and looks at different governance aspects. The index reviews aspects like safety and rule of law; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity; as well as human development. Speaking at the event, Mr. Ibrahim said "Rwanda is one of the great success stories". Other countries that have recorded significant changes include Liberia, Sierra Leone and Angola.4 Table 1: Rwanda’s Ranking 2012 and 2013 year Rank Score Observation 2013 15th 57.8 -Rwanda was the 3rd biggest Improver -CHANGE SINCE 2000-+10.9 2012 26th 57.8 Measured Indicators Safety & Rule of Human Rights Participation &, Sustainable Human Law Economic Opportunity Development Rank
Source: Mo Ibrahim Index report 2013 From the overall rankings, Rwanda emerged top in the EAC region, and 15th on the continent among the 52 countries covered, from the total 54 nations. Rwanda was at 57.9% and has improved more than 4 points in 6 years. Uganda came in at 56%, while Tanzania scored 56.9%. Kenya earned 53.6%, as Burundi lagged behind all its East African Community (EAC) partners at 43.8%. Mauritius, Botswana and Cape Verde were the top countries on the continent respectively. Meanwhile, Somalia and DRC were at the bottom - suggesting they are the worst governed countries. "We should not rush into thinking that improvement will happen instantly. Don't forget it took China 40 years to get where it is now," said Mr Ibrahim at the event. 4
Ibrahim Index on Africa Governance (IIAG) 2013 http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/iiag/
This is indeed true. Rwanda has overcome remarkable odds after emerging from a decade marked by civil war, political instability and discrimination which ended at its climax of the 100days of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Rwanda began a comprehensive and ambitious campaign in 2000 to rebuild, foster national reconciliation and drastically reduce poverty. The government’s agenda gave priority to health, education, infrastructure, and private and financial sector development, showing a commitment to improving citizens’ living conditions and building a solid foundation for reconciliation. Starting early on in the reform campaign, Rwanda has implemented many business regulation reforms. These have transformed the life of the private sector and made it noticeably easier to do business. Rwanda was ranked the 32nd in Doing Business Index with 8 Doing Business 2014 reforms. This time the country was the second in Africa after Mauritius which was ranked the 20th with 3 DB reforms. Table 2: Rwanda’s ranking and DB reforms performance over years Year Rank scored Observation 2011-2012 70th 4.19 Rwanda on average, every year, skips 10 positions higher and it is 2012-2013 63rd 4.24 this year that it improved by more 2013 52nd 2 than 50% in score. 2014 32nd 8 Period 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013 2014 Rank 80th 70t 63rd 52 32 DB Reforms 4.00 4.19 4.24 2 8 Source: Doing Business 2014 Rwanda’s successes in emerging quickly are the use of various development strategies. For example the Vision 2020 and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), emphasizes private sector development as the key to creating jobs, bringing peace, generating wealth and ultimately eliminating poverty. In addition, aware of its scarce natural resources and landlocked location, Rwanda has focused on business regulation reform to attract foreign investment. Dubbed “Africa’s new Singapore” by The Economist for its positive economic reforms, Rwanda has been effectively learning from the success stories of economies like Singapore since the early 2000s. And in 2007 it started using the Doing Business report as a tool to identify and learn from good practices in business regulation and to monitor improvement. According to World Economic Forum, Rwanda is among those countries that are said to be more competitive within Africa. It comes after Botswana, Gabon, Morocco, Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius. Table 3: Rwanda’s competitiveness in comparison with other countries in 2013
Source: World Economic Forum Between 2005 and 2011 Rwanda’s real GDP per capita has risen by 4.5% a year, reflecting a sustained expansion of exports and domestic investment, with inflows of foreign direct investment also increasing substantially. In addition, the government strengthened the foundations of macroeconomic stability by implementing cautious fiscal policies supported by a number of structural and institutional reforms. Underpinning this policy stance was a strong and sustained commitment by national authorities to private sector development. While challenges remain, the country has achieved much success in its reform agenda since the early 2000s. This success stems from many factors, and Rwanda’s experience may provide useful lessons for other nations seeking to improve their business climate, particularly for those coming out of conflict. Although Rwanda still faces development challenges like poverty, progress has been. Rwanda’s latest data release in 2011 shows enormous improvement in the living standards of citizens over the past five years, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - eight internationally-agreed goals aimed at reducing poverty and improving education, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability by 2015. Between 2006 and 2011, Rwanda has posted an average annual growth of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 8.4 percent, driven mainly by higher productivity in the agricultural and industrial sectors. Rwanda’s progress in fighting child and maternal mortality rate and enforcing universal health care and Universal education cannot be ignored too. The country’s ranking on the world scene by the World Bank and UNDP indicate Rwanda’s performance as below. Table 4: Rwanda’s progress in the development Indicators by World Bank Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
GDP growth (annual %)
SubGDP growth (annual %) Saharan Africa Source: World Bank Data
Human Development Index ranked in 2013 report Rwanda 167 out of 208 countries in the area of Human Development. This was the biggest improver in last decade ever recorded and UNDP noted that progress in the index made by Rwanda was the fastest ever recorded. Table 5: Rwanda’s performance in Human Development Indicators, 2013 HDI Human Life Mean years Expected Gross national Human Change rank Development expectancy of years of income (GNI) Development in rank Index (HDI) at birth schooling schooling per capita Index (HDI) 151 0.506 64.1 Source: UNDP Data
It is however worth noting that Rwanda’s high performance in doing business, economic and human development does not match Rwanda’s rank by Global Peace Index (GPI), 5 gauging among other indicators peace, security and democracy. The latter ranks Rwanda and indicates that for over the six years, among those factors that have negatively affected global peace are, “continued deteriorations in peace in Somalia, DRC and Rwanda and violent”. Generally, GPI defines Rwanda which was ranked 135 in 2013 report not as it is in the present context, but as it was before the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. For example Rwanda which is illustrated as having deteriorating peace, at the level of DRC and Somalia, scores highly in Doing Business index yet the latter and peace have a high coloration—a country without peace, security and democracy cannot be defined as one with good investment climate/doing business environment—especially since Rwanda has no minerals which would attract investors who do not mind about war for they would extract minerals and take them to their countries. GPI also contradicts IIAG and Global States of Mind Report 6 results. The latter ranks Rwanda as the safest place to live in the world. Fig 1: Most Likely to Feel Safe
5 Global Peace Index 2013. GPI ranks nations according to their level of peace, gauging peace using three broad themes: The level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarisation. 6 Gallup Poll is a Global States of Mind research 2012, which is a New Metrics for World Leaders
Source: Data from 2012 Gallup Poll report To relate internationally-Internationally produced data and Internationally-Nationally produced data, a comparative analysis is made between Global States of Mind Reportdata, Ibrahim Index on Africa Governance (IIAG) data and the Rwanda Governance Score card (RGS) data 2012 as illustrated below. Fig 2: A comparison between Global States of Mind Report, Comparative Analysis, (IIAG) and the Rwanda Governance Score card (RGS) 2012
Source: Data compiled from Gallup 2012, IIAG 2012 and RGS 2012 reports The above shows disparities between data produced by International publications among themselves and in relation to Rwanda’s local sources. Gauging personal Safety indicator, it is obvious that RGS and Global States of Mind Report awarded a same score to the indicator, while IIAG an African publication was totally different from Global States of Mind Report, an International publication and RGS a national publication.
Another avenue in which Rwanda has made many gains in is within the rule of law and judiciary systems. Strengthening the judiciary has taken priority as working to improve security in Rwanda has taken precedence. Security affects post-conflict countries the most due to the fear of the populace that violence will once again erupt. Security also encompasses the overall wellbeing of the citizenry to include such efforts as poverty reduction. On its path to sustainable peace and developmental the Government of Rwanda (GoR) put into context citizens needs and present situation by finding the country’s solutions from both traditional and contemporary best practices. Home grown solutions were employed to tackle the country’s political, economic and social issues. Some of these solutions that have been adopted and promoted to tackle governance issues include Gacaca, umuganda, ubudehe, Girinka, Imihigo, abunzi, among others. These are rooted in the traditional practice of were but were modified to suit the present demands. HGS are easy for citizens to understand and cheap to implement. For example Gacaca had a great impact in solving the country’s justice challenges after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. It was used to try Genocide suspects and tackle Genocide related crimes for they were overwhelming to the justice system which had been destroyed for justice practitioners had been killed and others had flee the country. HGSs have also contributed the country’s ability to tackle economic challenges and poverty reduction through programs like Umuganda, Ubudehe and Girinka.
5. Conclusion and Recommendation Every country faces different development challenges. But Rwanda’s ambitious and complex reform program may offer lessons for others seeking to reform through private sector development. One key to its achievements has been the strong commitment to reform shown by Rwanda’s leaders and its citizens. The government has established structures for building a foundation for private sector development and coordinating government-wide reform efforts. And it has created a well-defined, long-term reform strategy that informs all of the country’s short-term development goals. The government entities involved in the process have had clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and they have respected the goals set in initial implementation strategy documents. All these efforts are showing results in Rwanda’s regulatory performance. And Rwanda’s dedication to private sector development, in triggering positive legal reforms, has contributed substantially to its overarching goal of promoting national reconciliation and prosperity. Rwanda needs to put much effort in the areas the country is performing poorly, however the entire process ought to be driven by her citizens since they best understand their situation and are better placed to seek for sustainable solutions to any challenge encountered. In addition, a culture of writing needs to be encouraged among Rwandese and the people living in Rwanda so that the reality about Rwanda can be known to the International community especially those that need 11
credible and reliable data—this will solve the problem of contradictions in the information produced about Rwanda since majority of these publications base on online data.
Works Cited AllAfrica: Global Media, Mo Ibrahim Index Report 2013 Ernst & Young: Ernst & Young’s attractiveness survey Africa 2013 Gallup: GLOBAL STATES OF MIND Report 2013 Institute for Economic & Peace: Global Peace Index Report, 2013 Mo Ibrahim Foundation: 2013 Ibrahim Index of African Governance SUMMARY Rwanda Today: “When Foreign Aid Hurts More Than It helps.” Emmanuel Hakizimana, Ph.D., Université du Québec à Montréal and Brian Endless, Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago April 5, 2009-Chicago, Illinois. The World Bank: Doing Business Report 2013 World Economic Forum: The Africa Competitiveness Report, 2013 Sustainable Development Solutions Network, A global Initiative for the United Nations: World Happiness Report, 2013 Worldwide Governance Index: 2013 www.govindicators.org. UNDP: Human Development Report (HDI), 2013 World Bank Data: Development Indicators, 2013