Rwanda in poverty eradication drive by 2020

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Rwanda has reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating poverty and having none of the citizens living below the poverty line. The Minister of Local government James Musoni says that target will be met by the year 2020, considering the existing policies reflected in the development strategies.

Musoni’s remarks come after the release of a Commonwealth report, based on the 12 Aberdeen Principles, stated that with the decentralization progress in Rwanda, local governments units have been capable of handling complex tasks, which were previously unheard of before.

Some of the policies that emerged from the decentralization implementation programme since 2000 indicate that Rwanda has succeeded in holding on and implementing core values for promoting local democracy and good governance.

Some of the initiatives coming from this progress include: performance contracts (Imihigo) and National Dialogue (Umushyikirano) and other home grown solutions were considered to be the best practices needed in good governance system.

The decentralisation implementation programme, which is being implemented in three phases, began in 2000 and was first put into action in 2001. the first phase of decentralization, that ran from 2001 to 2005, saw the promulgation of enabling laws, establishment of service delivery structures, and the first ever democratically elected local government leadership.

The second, from 2006 to 2010, was a turning point in the decentralisation agenda where institutional and organisational restructuring of local governments was carried out to streamline better service delivery.

The third phase which runs from 2011-2015 is expected to improve and sustain the achievements made in the first two phases.

The Minister for Local Government, Musoni said the study corresponds with what is on the ground and it is through such best practices that Rwanda will not have any citizen living below that poverty line by the year 2020.

Rwanda has managed to reduce its poverty line margin from 56.7% in 2006 to

44.9% 2011 according to World Bank statistics, which makes at least one million Rwandans managing to make a better living in the last couple of years.

 

Some of the residents have highlighted the extent to which such decentralization and development programmes, such as the one cow per family, health insurance, community development funds, to mention but a few; have changed in the lives.

“We have built a good house, our children are nourished. When you feed well you think better. We have water and electricity home” says Daphrose Nyirabapagasi, anMusanze.
“Before Mutuelle de Sante, I used herbs for treatment when I got sick. But today, I receive proper medical treatment” adds Charlotte Uwineza, of Musanze ditstrict.

The challenge ahead

Though the country faces critics on its policies, Rwanda seems to have dealt with the issues of good governance and coming up with policies that have increased investment and a conducive business environment, even after the country undergoing a genocide in 1994 that is attributed to bad leadership and divisions.

As part of making another the stride ahead, Rwanda strives to become a knowledge based economy, and she has biggest part of the 2013-2014 budget has been allocated to semantic areas-which is in three parts and amounting to Rwf818.8billion (50%), as reflected in Rwanda’s second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) that is founded on pillars of economic transformation and poverty reduction by the year 2017.

In this case, economic transformation was allocated Rwf511.4 billion (31%). This allocation will focus on agriculture transformation, increase in exports, infrastructure development and driving-off off farm jobs through creation of secondary cities.

Followed by rural development, with Rwf161.4 billion (10%) allocation will be channeled to integrated land approach to land use and rural settlement, increase in agriculture productivity, integrated social protection programs and connecting rural populations to economic opportunity through improved infrastructure.

While productivity and youth employment pillar will take up Rwf104.5 billion (6%) and it will be used to increase off- farm jobs, develop skills and link them to labor markets.

Apparently Rwf40.8 billion (3%) allocated to accountable governance will be used to strengthen citizen participation in delivery of development, improved accountability, service delivery and security.


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About the author

Based in New York, Patrick is a Wall Street Broker and Financial Pundit. He works as a Foreign Consultant for Rwanda Eye. His insights on the current economic trends and its impact on Rwanda and Africa, makes him an invaluable asset to Rwanda Eye.

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