The High Commission of Rwanda and the Rwandan Community in Ghana, in collaboration with the Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly and Sanitation Ministry, has launched Umuganda in Ghana with community engagement and a cleanup exercise.

The exercise, the first to be held since the High Commission of Rwanda in Ghana was established in 2020, was joined in by top Ghanaian local government officials, the diplomatic corps, the Rwandan Community in Ghana, as well as residents of Ayawaso West Municipality.

Umuganda in Kinyarwanda, the indigenous language of Rwandans, means “coming together to achieve a given outcome”.

It is part of Rwanda’s homegrown initiatives that have contributed significantly to the country’s unity, reconciliation, and national development following a devastating genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

In Rwanda, Umuganda is held every last Saturday of the month to allow community members to collectively undertake projects of the common good and address social and economic challenges.

As part of the Umuganda launch in Ghana, members of the neighbourhood in Dzowulu, a suburb of Accra where the Rwanda High Commission is situated, undertook various communal activities, including unclogging gutters, planting trees, clearing of rubbish, weeding, sweeping, among others.

In her remarks at the event, the High Commissioner of Rwanda in Ghana, Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, highlighted the objectives of Umuganda and how the monthly activity has helped communities in Rwanda to address developmental and societal challenges and served as a platform to unify.

Rwandans launch Umuganda in Ghana with Community engagement and clean up exercise

“Umuganda has been instrumental in rebuilding our unity, propagating a culture of ownership and a shared responsibility for community and national development, resulting in communities coming together to solve challenges previously seen as out of their reach”.

She added, “Rwandans have built classrooms, homes for vulnerable members of the community and paved neighbourhood roads, contributing to improved standards of life”.

The High Commissioner also emphasised the local dialogue component that follows the physical work, where community members with their local leaders meet and engage in an open discussion about any important issues, which she said has contributed to rebuilding unity, peace, and social cohesion.

Rwandans launch Umuganda in Ghana with Community engagement and clean up exercise

The High Commissioner commended the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the President of Ghana Nana Akufo Addo, who have been champions of communities taking ownership of their progress, especially on maintaining sanitation and environmental conservation.

“We are grateful to our Presidents for their leadership, which has demonstrated to us that by coming together, we can achieve anything we envisage”.

Representing Government the Government of Ghana at the Umuganda launch, Honorable Sandra Owusu Ahinkorah, the Chief Executive of the Municipal Assembly of Ayawaso West, lauded the initiative and reiterated that it is in line with the initiatives launched by President Akuffo Addo; greening, cleaning, and enhancing the sanitation of Ghana, including the latest “clean your frontage” campaign.

She assured the High Commission of continued and stronger collaboration.

Rwandans launch Umuganda in Ghana with Community engagement and clean up exercise

The Diplomatic Corps also actively participated in the exercise led by the Ambassador of Colombia to Ghana, Claudia Quintero.

In her remarks, she commended Umuganda as a great initiative that should be embraced emulated through South-South Cooperation, emphasising the great ideals of peace and unity that it promotes.

Appreciative of the activity, participants committed to do Umuganda regularly and expand it further to continue contributing to building communities, Ghana and Africa.

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