Why we should support pro-poor Gov’t plans

Several analysts have maintained strong rating for Rwanda, after the government poverty eradication programme of EDPRSI brought 45 percent of citizens above the official poverty line.
 Gertrude Majyambere
Gertrude Majyambere

Several analysts have maintained strong rating for Rwanda, after the government poverty eradication programme of EDPRSI brought 45 percent of citizens above the official poverty line.

They say there is hope this should consolidate the prevailing peace.

After all, what makes a nation is having citizens who can afford to bring food to table every day.

There is no doubt its one way of creating strong bonds, hence a stable nation.

Five years down the road, one million Rwandans were lifted from the poverty trap, falling by 11.8 percent.

There is a Kinyarwanda saying that goes as ‘Abasangiye ubusa bitana ibisamb’ loosely translated as people who share limited resources will always blame each other of greed.

Poverty will always force people with idle minds into conflicts thereby creating unstable nation or society.

So, five years of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction EDPRS proved that we can create wealth and achieve the dignity and quality life for every Rwandan.

The EDPRS report released recently indicate that in the last five years of EDPRSI, there was ownership and strong community participation which highly contributed to the greater achievement.

EDPRSI laid a strong foundation for Rwandans, so let’s keep the trend and we shouldn’t reverse it if we are to reduce poverty to lower levels. And since we know what it takes we would achieve it in the shortest time.

Some of the major challenges highlighted like population growth, price increase for both food and non food items, infrastructure development can be addressed.

It sounds selfish if someone said lets go the China way of population growth but at least we can learn from them in terms of family planning and poverty reduction.

However, there is an improvement in the adoption of family planning services. Use of contraceptives increased to 45 percent from 10 percent in 2000, while today a woman in Rwanda will have an average of five children in her entire reproductive life, from six in 2005.

It all starts with our mind where some Rwandans still perceive many children as a source of wealth; days are gone where parents used to boast of full house of children.

Government cannot put up coercive measures of population control but more sensitization campaigns should be launched to change the mindset of those Rwandans who still disregard family planning services if we are to escape the poverty trap.

China, an emerging economic giant, reduced poverty by 64.4 percent in 24 years where as Rwanda reduced poverty by 33 percent in 17 years.

Rwandans should also embark on the success stories and major drivers of EDPRSI like adopting good agricultural practices, slowing population growth and improve agricultural production.

Recently, the World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development, Rachel Kyte said Rwanda took the right measure to ensure a food secure population.

“This is one of the countries that u can see the impact of investment made after the 2008 food crisis,” Kyte said.

The government’s response was to make sure any future food crisis will not have direct impact on Rwanda. Huge investments registered in production and storage, transformation of landscapes and supplying of seeds.

Also Action Aid’s latest report dubbed, ‘HungerFREE, maintained strong rating for Rwanda as far as vulnerability and preparedness with regard to food security and climate change is concerned, ranking third after Brazil and Malawi of the 28 developing countries rated.

Thanks to all Rwandans who embraced and implemented the good poverty eradication policies geared towards improving their welfare.

EDPRS is built on three pillars, including sustainable growth for jobs and exports, Vision 2020 Umurenge programme (VUP) and governance.


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