Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya recently responded to questions about the future of Umuganda, emphasizing the significance of this cultural practice in contributing to the country’s development.
Umuganda, which means “contribution” in English, is deeply ingrained in Rwandan culture and serves as a homegrown problem-based solution for various issues such as environmental, social, rehabilitation and afforestation.
The Minister explained that Umuganda is not just a one-time event but has become a part of Rwanda’s DNA for sustainable development.
Looking ahead, Minister Mujawamariya expressed the vision of a net-zero carbon country by 2050, where emissions sent into the atmosphere will be equal to the emissions avoided. Additionally, Rwanda aims to become a resilient nation within the next decade.
However, the Minister emphasized that Umuganda should not only benefit Rwanda but also serve as a model for the entire African continent.
She said that “Africa is often portrayed as a barren and impoverished continent, but Rwanda is determined to change this perception. The country aims to be cleaner and desires to work towards becoming a middle-income country, leading the way for other African nations to follow suit.”
She stressed the importance of taking action and not remaining complacent with the current situation. To change the negative perception of Africa, Rwanda has shown its commitment by actively working towards progress. The Minister urged all African countries to join forces in transforming the continent’s image.
Reflecting on Rwanda’s own journey, the Minister highlighted how the country has risen from the devastation of the genocide, declaring “never again” to discrimination, torture, impunity, and corruption.
This determination to change the world’s perception of Rwanda has propelled the nation forward. The Minister assured that Rwanda will continue working with its people to ensure progress and called on Africa to unite in rejecting the label of a “failed continent.”
In conclusion, the Minister reiterated that Umuganda represents Rwanda’s dedication to sustainable development. By working together, Rwanda and the rest of Africa can achieve great strides in changing the world’s perception of the continent. As Rwandan President has stated, the goal is not only to go far but to go fast and beyond.