Approach to the lives of children in urban areas of Rwanda

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The research shows that 70% of the world population in 2050 will be living in the cities. However, for the case of Rwanda, this reality can happen before the expected time.

On one hand, the Rwandan authorities are committed to develop  infrastructure development. As a result, the now country side will be urbanised in a not long period of time.On other hand, the size of this country will obviously interact in the context of the acceleration of the urbanisation of Rwanda as we observe the development of the latter since 1994.

Asphalt roads, gigantic buildings, clean water and electricity as well as the spread of fibre optics are among the remarkable achievements in remote areas, where the optimism that in a short time the good part of the population will be urbanised.

Although, the policy on urbanisation in Rwanda is promising, statistics from the Ministry of Finance in 2002 showed that more than a half of the national population were children aged between 6 and 17 years.

Rwanda is made up of  cities in the process of development

The political history that marked Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 caused a split in the country of the fact that the families dispersed from on place to another, hence, the children were victims, that is to say that the following generations found themselves in homeless cities.

To deal with the issue, in collaboration with the private sector, government has  invested in building a favourable environment for urban areas, yet there is a long way to go.

There is also the National Children’s Council (NCC) which organizes dialogues with children at the national level and they are making their contributions in the form of recommendations to participate in the building of the country.

Do children have a leisure infrastructure?

Except in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, where one can find places reserved for  children entertainment, it is very rare to have them in other cities and town across  the country.

The community gardens are in full birth especially in the capital but it is the extra of the rich and the children coming from the poor families do not benefit from it.

The reality is that children from wealthy families study in good schools that have such spaces unlike the poor.

Does road construction take into account urban presence?

While planning the constructions of the roads in Rwanda, the persons in charge do not take into account the presence of  children who are also a part and everyday user.

This negative aspect is the result of the absence and consideration of children’s voices in decision-making.

In fact, it would be essential to have an awareness by developing a basic structure to take into account the presence of children by respecting their rights in evolving in the cities.

Many children in the city suffer from lack of health insurance

Although in Rwanda the State has set up a policy aimed at ensuring the entire population in medical matters, many of the children in the city do not have access to proper care. Few can easily handle each other again, depending on their family status.

Do children have an ease in digital entertainment?

The Rwandan State and the parents have some knowledge about the digital games in need, however the financial aspect is lacking.

Children who have access to this kind of games are supposed to have a very advanced level of reflection compared to others who do not like it.

Michel Sinkabumwe / Bwiza.com

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