Umwiherero, best translated as “retreat”, refers to a tradition in Rwandan culture where leaders convene in a secluded place in order to reflect on issues affecting their communities. Upon return from these retreats, the objective is to have identified solutions. On a smaller scale, this term also refers to the action of moving to a quieter place to discuss issues with a small group of people.
Umushyikirano aims to be a leading example of participatory and inclusive governance. It is hoped that by directly engaging with their leaders, Rwandans feel part of the decision making that affects their lives. Umushyikirano also serves as a forum for Rwandans to hold their leaders and government to account.
The word Umuganda can be translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’. In traditional Rwandan culture, members of the community would call upon their family, friends, and neighbors to help them complete a difficult task.
Ubudehe refers to the long-standing Rwandan practice and culture of collective action and mutual support to solve problems within a community, according to a recent academic research paper. It is not known exactly when Ubudehe was first practiced, but it is thought to date back more than a century. The focus of traditional Ubudehe was mostly on cultivation.
The word Ingando comes, from the verb ‘kugandika’, which means going to stay in a place far from one’s home, often with a group, for a specific reason.
Imihigo is the plural Kinyarwanda word of Umuhigo, which means to vow to deliver. Imihigo also includes the concept of Guhiganwa, which means to compete among one another.
The word Girinka can be translated as ‘may you have a cow’ and describes a centuries old cultural practice in Rwanda whereby a cow was given by one person to another, either as a sign of respect and gratitude or as a marriage dowry.
The word Gacaca refers to the small clearing where a community would traditionally meet to discuss issues of concern. People of integrity (elders and leaders) in the village known as inyangamugayo would facilitate a discussion that any member of the community could take part in.
Agaciro Development Fund is the Rwanda's sovereign wealth fund that was initiated by Rwandans on 15-16 December 2011 at the 9th Umushyikirano (National Dialogue Council) chaired by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame.
The word Abunzi can be translated as ‘those who reconcile’ or ‘those who bring together’ (from verb kunga). In the traditional Rwanda, Abunzi were men known within their communities for personal integrity and were asked to intervene in the event of conflict.