Nyiramasengesho Jeannette: The new face of RALGA
Since October 06, 2022, Ms. Nyiramasengesho Jeannette has been the new president of the Rwanda Local Government Association (RALGA) following the general assembly held in Bugesera district. Ms. Nyiramasengesho replaces Mr. Innocent Uwimana who was in office since May 2016. Ms. Nyiramasengesho Jeannette is the chairperson of Ngororero District Council in the Western Province.
“I am thankful for the trust of members who elected me as the chairperson for this term. I am committed to serve, and I am confident that with their support, RALGA shall reach greater height. I shall strive to strengthen the Association’s organs to ensure that they serve in accordance with national policies and contribute to citizens’ socioeconomic development as per the national aspirations,” she said.
The new RALGA president is also the head of the Union for Domestic and Independent workers in the Informal Economy (SYTRIECI). Since her childhood, she has dedicated her life to building solidarity and has been a pioneer in organizing informal economy workers in her country. The one leading RALGA is therefore a woman of action. SYTRIECI was set up under her leadership. Ms. Nyiramasengesho Jeannette started to organize meetings in her apartments with street vendors. She sat down with them and asked them to explain, one by one, what their problems were and to see if they could find solutions together. Seeing the large number of women gathered, Jeannette thought that they could try to create a formal structure, without being certain of the most suitable form, an association or a cooperative? She did some research on the Internet and realized that, given the needs and demands of the women, a union would be the most appropriate form.
For her: “A woman needs to be strong, to participate and to bring solutions, both to family and societal problems. Keeping women out of leadership means destroying development. A woman can make many positive contributions and we are capable of doing more.”
As president of RALGA, she now sits on the Executive Committee and the Pan-African Council of UCLG Africa. She will make her first meetings of UCLG Africa bodies on 01 and 02 November 2022 in Tangier, Morocco, respectively for the Executive Committee and the Pan-African Council.
Nyiramasengesho Jeannette lives in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, with her four children – three boys and one girl – and her husband. At the age of 43, she already has an impressive track record of defending the rights of workers in the informal economy. After graduation, she worked as a teacher for two years and then as an accountant at the high school where she taught. After graduating with a degree in sociology, finding a job was difficult for Jeannette. She had left her job as an accountant at the high school to pursue higher education. The catalyst for Jeannette to dedicate her life to workers in the informal economy was the plight of women street vendors, and now, after years of experience, she is the head of a national organization. In October 2022, she reached a new milestone by being elected President of RALGA.