Second five-year devt plan kicks off today

Government will officially unveil the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) today.
Analysts say EDPRS2 provides a very good basis and framework for poverty reduction.  The New Times/ File.
Analysts say EDPRS2 provides a very good basis and framework for poverty reduction. The New Times/ File.

Government will officially unveil the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) today.

The ceremony, to be held at the Parliamentary Building in Kimihurura and will see leaders  signing performance contracts.

At the cost of about Rwf10 trillion over the next five years, the EDPRS 2 is planned for implementation between 2013 and 2018 and is expected to ldeliver the country to a middle income status.

The economy is set to grow at an average 11.5 per cent during EDPRS2 implementation and the country’s GDP per capita is projected to increase from the current $644 to $1,240 by the year 2020.

President Paul Kagame is expected to launch the blueprint.

 “The Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) is a launch into the home strait of our Vision 2020. We are faced with new challenges of ensuring greater self reliance and developing global competitiveness,” Kagame wrote in the foreword for EDPRS 2 document.

Faced with challenges that range from poverty and inequality, little land, and growing population pressures that leave the youth in demand of at least 200,000 jobs every year to a poor infrastructure and a lowly skilled workforce, the government has worked out the EDPRS 2 to turn the challenges into opportunities.

The plan seeks to ensure that the country’s youthful labour force is equipped with employable skills and some countryside towns turned into major cities to cater for the young population’s demands for jobs, goods, and services.

The plan also provides for the private sector to become the main driver of the economy by taking advantage of improved infrastructure, continued political stability, and good governance.

“As we take this important step ahead in our future, let us increase our determination to become makers of history, to shape our development and elevate Rwanda into a new era of prosperity that will be celebrated for generations through our joint efforts,” Kagame says in the foreword.

EDPRS 2 focusses on four areas of economic transformation, rural development, productivity and youth employment, as well as accountable governance.

Pro-poor

Analysts and development partners in the country have used words like “pro-poor”, “realistic”, and “focused” to describe the plan.

“It provides a very good basis and framework for poverty reduction,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative to Rwanda, Mitra Farahbaksh, told The New Times  yesterday.

Both the country director of ActionAid, Josephine Uwamariya, and the executive secretary of Rwanda Civil Society Platform, Thaddee Karekezi, say the plan is pro-poor.

“It addresses critical issues of people living in poverty,” Uwamariya said yesterday.

Karekezi said EDPRS2 is realistic. He underlined that thorough consultations were made in its preparation as well as its final aims to develop rural areas.

“It (EDPRS2) is within the country’s means,” he added.

The plan aims at reducing the  44.9 per cent overall poverty level recorded in 2011 to below 30 per cent by 2018.

 

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