National Dialogue: What the Ni Nyampinga girls would ask?

Rwandans are preparing for the annual National Dialogue, ‘Umushyikirano,’ which will take place in Kigali on December 18th to 19th 2014. The National Dialogue, which is chaired by His Excellency the President of Rwanda, is now in its twelfth year and it provides an opportunity for Rwandans both in Rwanda and in the Diaspora to pose questions to the leadership of the country at a national level. This is one of the most exciting events of the year because nowhere else in the world do citizens have direct access to their leadership, let alone their head of state.

Each year, the National Dialogue strives to be as inclusive as possible in order to incorporate the diverse thoughts, opinions, and experiences of Rwandans around the country. According to Hon. Venetia Twagirayezu, the Minister in the President’s Office, 1,000 Rwandans will be in attendance at the National Parliament, where the event is being held, while 2,000 young people will tune in from Petit Stade in Remera as part of the annual Youth Connekt convention. Video conferencing will be employed to include at least two communities based upcountry.

Under the general “Common Vision, New Momentum”, two sub-themes will be explored: “Family: A Foundation for National Prosperity” and “Safeguarding Our Achievements for a Better Future.” Rwandans from all across the world will be able to follow the event on television, radio, online. They will also have the opportunity to submit inquires through Facebook, Twitter, calls, emails and SMS.

During the MDG Special Event at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, President Kagame emphasized the importance of investing in girls. Throughout the year, Ni Nyampinga has interacted with numerous girls from the most vulnerable to the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders of our society. Through these interactions, we have realized the importance of having girls’ voices added to the national dialogue. It is beneficial not only to girls, but to the leadership of the country. To this end, we have three questions that we would love to have addressed at this year’s Umushyikirano:

Benigne Mugwaneza: What is the government doing to empower and assist young girls with access to finance for their business projects, especially after gaining vocational skills?

Sarah Duhimbaze: What is the role of government in girls self-reliance?

Ritha Marie Clarisse Ubumwe: With regard to human trafficking, there is particularly a concern for trafficking of girls, most girls and women are trafficked because of poverty, ignorance and influence by others promising them better jobs abroad.
Is there a way the authorities can have a toll free line in a bid to address this problem? A line where the public can report any issues, this way creating further awareness and ensuring that those guilty of human trafficking crimes are brought to justice.

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