In the years that followed the end of the genocide, one of the most serious problems the country was confronted with was the lack of trust between the inhabitants, even among those living in the same neighborhood. The horrors of the genocide, the displacements of people it had caused and the returns of refugees, some of whom had lived almost all their lives abroad, meant that many people did not know each other and did not trust each other. These complex legacies of the Genocide and Genocide Ideology and Social Mistrust, were not the only problems facing the Rwandan people. There were also internal & external security challenges. Over 80% of Rwandans were internally displaced people or refugees. In addition 78% of population lived in abject poverty, over 80% of GDP was dependent on aid. Lastly, there was an immense amount of social, human and physical capital destroyed; the life expectancy was less than 45 years of age. Conventional means could not solve these problems adequately.
The country’s leadership sought to revive traditional community-based institutions and mechanisms to address the many problems they faced. It turned out that in spite of their different trajectories most Rwandans were very receptive to the cultural appeal of these traditions that compelled them to collaborate.The country sought to draw from culture heritage some solutions which should serve as basis in restoring Rwandan dignity.
Rwanda’s Home Grown Solutions (HGSs) are governance innovations that provide unconventional responses to societal challenges unlikely to be addressed through conventional means. HGSs are based on national heritage, historical consciousness and strive for self-reliance.
The process and approaches employed in search for and application of HGS promote citizen participation and ownership, which in turn results in the promotion of self-reliance.
This has strongly contributed to the dynamism of the socio-economic transformation of post-genocide Rwanda. HGS have in particular contributed to the achievement of Rwanda’s Millennium Goals (MDGs). The MDGs final report on Rwanda expressed that “a strong focus on homegrown policies and initiatives contributed to a significant improvement in access to services and in human development indicators.” Following their successes, HGS have been constitutionally mandated.
Rwanda’s Homegrown Solutions intervene in the following three processes:
© Rwanda Playbook 2018