Today is Labour Day, a day to celebrate the hard work put in by employees worldwide. In Rwanda, today comes with good and bad news.
First the bad news;
The Auditor General’s (AG) report presented yesterday in Parliament came with the same old gloomy news that some state entities are still causing enormous financial losses.
That has been the same message the AG has delivered before the House on previous occasions, but the remedies proposed are working very slowly so there is need to rethink the whole process of trying to plug the loopholes.
Now for the good news; Rwandan workers’ efforts, hard work and dedication are continuing to pay dividends. Their sacrifices have not been in vain
On the same day the AG was delivering bad news, the Minister for Finance saved the day. The country’s journey to wean itself off aid is progressing as planned. Over the years it has managed to tip the scales in its favour, slowly reducing dependency on donors to finance its activities.
This financial year, the Government will be able to finance the Rwf2.4 trillion budget with 84 per cent coming from its own pocket. That is a slight increase from last year when it managed to come up with 83 per cent, quite a feat by developing country standards.
If one does the correct math, it is easy to see that the slightly over 390 billion the country expects in form of external grants could easily be covered in a very short while if we curb wastage; either through negligence or criminal intentions.
The aid-free finishing tape is in sight and this May Day should mark the beginning of new approaches in protecting public funds.