Since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda has undertaken various governance reforms aimed at re-enforcing good governance and electoral democracy. Credible, peaceful and transparent elections are the foundation of democratic governance and sustainable development. It is for this reason that the National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Rwanda has been building Election management capacities of its staff through BRIDGE.
The Rwandan National Electoral Commission (NEC) organized and held successful periodic elections that has been widely hailed for being well organized with high voter turn-out and peacefully conducted. Today the electoral process has produced the highest female participation in any democratic country and Rwanda has the highest world record of number of women in parliament. Women now hold more than half Parliamentary seats, out of a total 80.
Soon after the two weeks Train the Facilitator NEC undertook a BRIDGE modular workshop on Gender and Elections from 15-19 December 2014 in Rubavu. This was done with a view of enhancing knowledge on gender and elections as well as looking at strategies of how the set high standards of gender representation in Parliarment in Rwanda can be maintained. This was also an opportunity to accredit 3 NEC semi-accredited staff to BRIDGE workshop facilitator level. They were 20 participants all from NEC.
The BRIDGE facilitation team consisted of:
2. Moise Bukasa – BRIDGE Semi Accredited Facilitator
3. Kagabo Sylvestre – BRIDGE Semi-Accredited Facilitator
Participants assessed the workshop with the following descriptions:
“It was worth it, educative, the workshop was an eye opener, balanced, very informative, facilitators very helpful and knowledgeable, and the group was excellent, timely, perfect, memorable, so engaging, participatory and involving”.
Some indicated that it was a very empowering workshop. One participant said: “I have attended workshops on gender issues before but the BRIDGE one is deeper in content and rich.” Another one said, “It was a well organised workshop it was a learning experience and the outcomes were good.” The other comments are as follows: “well researched approach and excellent methodology”.
The closing ceremony was graced by the UNDP Country Director Mr Auke Lootsma and NEC chair Professor Kalisa Mbanda as well as NEC Electoral Management Specialist, Mrs Olive Kansanga who congratulated the participants on their completion of the course.
Great appreciation was given to UNDP for its support to NEC’s Capacity Building Programme including Bridge Courses.