TOP STORY: Government, donors to discuss progress on economic development

60 percent of the periodic maintenance of the 780km National Earth Roads has been completed. Furthermore, the implementation of the Second Generation Road Maintenance Fund is underway – EDPRS report Government and donors are to convene later this week to discuss innovative ways of reducing Rwanda’s poverty levels and financing the nation’s economic development.

60 percent of the periodic maintenance of the 780km National Earth Roads has been completed. Furthermore, the implementation of the Second Generation Road Maintenance Fund is underway – EDPRS report

Government and donors are to convene later this week to discuss innovative ways of reducing Rwanda’s poverty levels and financing the nation’s economic development.

According to information from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the main organiser of the two-day high level meeting development partners including  the World Bank (WB), African development bank, European Union (EU) and the United Nations will also review Rwanda’s macroeconomic performance in 2008 and challenges and opportunities for 2009.

Others scheduled to attend the annual meeting which is in it’s eighth year running include, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representatives from the Rwanda private sector and International and national Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The meeting will be presided over by President Paul Kagame, the UN resident coordinator Aurelien Agbenonci and Bert Koenders, the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation.

A statement from UNDP indicates that the forum will engage donors in discussions including progress in the implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to the agenda there will be a, “presentation on progress and challenges in the implementation and monitoring of MDGs in Rwanda in the context of progress to date in the implementation of the EDPRS.”

EDPRS is an acronym that stands for Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy. The EDPRS programme facilitates the country’s long term development aspiration for its Vision 2020.

EDPRS report
 
According to a MINECOFIN report released recently, progress towards achieving the 2008 EDPRS policy actions is positive. The document dubbed, ‘EDPRS First Semester Implementation Report’, shows that 50 percent government policy actions are on-track while most of those remaining are on-watch, with the most progressive being ;agriculture, education, horticulture and social protection.

The report ranks MINECOFIN as, “strongly performing in terms of numbers of policy actions implemented.” The Ministries of Health (MINISANTE), Local Government (MINALOC) and Infrastructure (MININFRA) were also respectively commended for policy actions implemented.

“On the other hand, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) is on-watch or off-track with 12 out of 14 policy actions. Only four policy actions out of 122 are off-track to be completed in 2008,” says the report.

On infrastructure most policy actions were reportedly on track. The report says that the National Energy Policy, a draft report on energy has been presented and that another report on Rwanda’s preparedness for implementation of electricity rollout programme has also been completed.

“MININFRA is in negotiations with two independent power producers to sign a contract for generation of electricity. The draft law on electricity and gas has been forwarded to Parliament,” says the report.

“Importantly, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Energy sub-sector and development partners was signed on 3rd July 2008 as the first output of a Sector-wide approach (SWAp),” adds the report.

On transport the report says that the sub-sector is on-track with policy actions including the adoption of the Transport Policy and Road Maintenance Strategy, a document awaiting approval.

“Sixty percent of the periodic maintenance of 80km of the 780km of National Earth Roads has been completed. Furthermore, the implementation of the Second Generation Road Maintenance Fund is underway,” says the report.

Progress has also been done against the construction of 517 KM of new water supply systems with 205 Km already constructed. 

“Hydrological stations country-wide have been identified and 70 boreholes drilled and equipped with pumps compared to a target of 150. The sector was unable to provide accurate information on the construction of sanitation facilities in pilot ‘imidugudu’ and public places and on the initiation of rain water harvesting projects in 8 districts,” the report says.

Over 50 percent of the country’s national budget is donor funded. The country’s previous budget framework paper for 2008-2010 said that the WB and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) are the biggest supporters of the 49 percent foreign aid that was raised for the 2008 budget.

Both the WB and DfID had committed themselves to a figure of $6m while the European Commission had pledged $24m in budget support.

Ends

 

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