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Umuganda: Rwanda's cleaning economy: socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation mediated through public clean up programmes

2022-04-29

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Umuganda: Rwanda's cleaning economy: socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation mediated through public clean up programmes

Rwanda is an exceptionally clean country; public roads are clean, dirt roads are clean, public spaces are clean. Cleaning in Rwanda takes place at an industrial scale, literally and metaphorically. Although the cleanliness of the country is much spoken for in public discourse, the economic contributions of Rwanda’s cleaning initiatives have not been considered a serious topic in the literature. Therefore, this JEI Special Issue seeks to correct this anomaly and position Rwanda’s clean-up programme in its proper perspective as a socioeconomic development vehicle. In fact, Rwanda has built a big economy through cleaning up – new jobs, new businesses, new laws, new social norms, new practices, and a new culture all have grown out of the gusukura and umuganda (public cleaning programmes). Most importantly, the Rwanda experience could and should serve as a model for the rest of Africa and developing nations that have been incapacitated by urban filth and unemployment. Against this background, this JEI Special Issue invites students, academics, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to submit contributions that will enrich knowledge, debates, and discourse on this important but under-rated indigenous African solution to African problem cleaning for socioeconomic development. 

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