KIGALI - The Central and Local Governments yesterday held a meeting to assess the performance of the 2009/10 financial year and also set development goals ahead of the national budget.
The two-day meeting, convened by Prime Minister Bernard Makuza.and the Ministry of Local Government, will discuss challenges and draw an action plan for the coming year.
In his opening speech, the Premier reminded central and local government leaders that much as a lot has been achieved, major challenges still remain.
“I appreciate your contribution to the country’s development, much as we know that we still have much more to do. We, therefore, have little time to be complacent or lose track of where we are heading,” Makuza said.
“We are closing in on Vision 2020, and this requires extraordinary effort from each one of us to achieve the goals we set for ourselves”.
The Premier warned the leaders against time wasting and poor mismanagement of resources as this will slow the country’s development. “As we meet to focus on the financial year we are beginning in July, this is an opportune time for us to evaluate ourselves and assess what we have achieved in terms of good governance and democracy,” he said.
Makuza noted that the country has matured democratically in the last 16 years but there are some ‘politicians’ who want to drag the country back into politics of ethnicity, warning that Rwandans wont allow that to happen.
He called for a harmonious working relationship between the central and the local government because the two work as an engine and complement each other.
As part of the government plans to increase agricultural output, the Prime Minister said that priority should be given to boosting agriculture output by implementing government programmes like the crop intensification and land consolidation programmes.
He noted that output has increased ever since the government embarked on these programmes but said that there is need for districts to engage farmers to fully utilise land for maximum yields. He also emphasised value addition pledging government help.
He urged local leaders to also focus on implementing the 9-Year Basic Education (9-YBE) programme as well as completely phasing out grass thatched houses.
Provincial Governors also presented their 2010/11 budgets totalling up to over Rwf250bn, including potential sources of revenue.
Kigali City, which has the biggest budget, will spend an estimated Rwf63.6bn, and while other provinces will largely depend on government funding, the City will mobilise about 60 percent of the funds to finance the budget.
The Eastern Province has budgeted Rwf50.5bn, the Northern Province has a budget of Rwf38.5b, the Southern Province Rwf46.8bn and the Western Province Rwf43.9bn.
Development activities, in particular infrastructure development, roads, schools, hospitals among others take up 70 percent of the provincial budgets
“The priorities we have today is to increase agricultural output, value addition, infrastructure development and good governance which all fall under the Economic Development Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
“Most of these targets are on track though we still have some challenges like lack of enough resources and crises such as dry spells, influx of immigrants faced by some provinces,” said Local Government Minister, James Musoni.
Ministries and Government institutions will present their actions plans as well as achievements during the meeting.