RALGA launches the “Rwanda Direct” online platform

On 5th November 2020, Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) launched its new online information platform, the “Rwanda Direct”, that shall link and connect the Rwandan Local Government Authorities to the World, through information gathering and sharing.

The platform shall include both public and private domains for events, newsletter, documentation and discussion forum, among others.

This platform is a result of the Local Governance Exchange program, linking closely the Association of Towns and Municipalities in Rhineland-Palatinate (GStB) and RALGA, under the partnership between the Ministry of Local Government of Rwanda and the Ministry of Interior and Sports in the Rhineland-Palatinate, launched in July 2018.

The virtual launch gathered all stakeholders in this partnership namely; the Ministry of Local Government in Rwanda, the Ministry of Interior and Sports in Rhineland Palatinate, “Jumelage” Rhineland Palatinate – Rwanda Kigali Office, Engagement Global, GStB, Kommunale Akademie in Rhineland Palatinate, SKEW and RALGA.

In his welcome remarks, the Secretary General of RALGA, Mr Ngendahimana Ladislas, commended each of the stakeholders and defined the purpose of the platform. He said; “this platform translates the institution to institution friendship, and people to people partnership. It shall promote cultural exchange and it will allow RALGA to better deliver on its mandate of advocacy, capacity building and representation of its members through timely information sharing, visibility and proper documentation. This is in line with the newly adopted strategic plan of the Association, and we thank our partners who made it happen”.

The Head of Division in the Ministry of Interior and Sports in Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr Carola Stein, commended the achievement. She said that the project was a result of the long lasting partnership between Rwanda and the Rhineland Palatinate. She added that, basing on the achievement, “there is much more to come in the partnership”. She thanked RALGA and all partners, particularly the Ministry of Local Government, for unreserved commitment to the partnership.

The Head of Division Municipal Partnerships Sub Sahara and North Africa at Engagement Global, Bonarius Nadja, said that; the project clearly shows the possibilities where intensive professional exchange can lead. She noted; “we are confident that ‘Rwanda Direct’ can be a helpful as a support tool for Mayors and decentralized entities, especially in times like these, when a pandemic determines the everyday life of local administrations and fast transfer of information to leaders is crucial.” She wished GStB and RALGA can continue the exchange of expertise and realize further projects and furthermore, the platform will be of great use to all Rwandan decentralized administrative entities and their leaders.

Mr. Stefan Heck, the focal point for the project on the side of GStB for the development of the platform, said that; they “achieved the objective for the establishment of the platform”. According to him; “now that the platform was successfully developed, the next steps shall include digitization of RALGA and members’ archives, as a second phase of the digital platform.”   

In his closing remarks, Mr. Ningabire Yves Bernard, the Director General in charge of Local Government Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Local Government commended the achievement and all those who played any role to make it a success. He said; “this platform is a good milestone, a concrete product towards the achievement of the Local Governance Exchange program objectives in general, and a proof of what people can achieve together in particular”. 

On behalf of the Ministry of Local Government, he commended all stakeholders of the project for their contributions. He pledged the Ministry’s commitment and readiness to play its role in achievement of the project objectives.

The German company Chamaeleon developed the Rwanda Direct platform under “ionas” content management system and a Rwandan company, AOS, shall be providing hosting services on a dedicated server. This shall provide a guarantee against cyber-attacks, and an opportunity for cultural and knowledge sharing.