A three–day international conference on ‘Graduation and Social Protection’ commenced in Kigali today, with an emphasis on reducing poverty and ensuring that those out of poverty do not fall back into it.
It attracted over 150 participants including politicians, statisticians and researchers. It is organised by the Ministry of Local Government and the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies, UK.
Participants at the conference include politicians and researchers with expertise in graduation from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, as well as officials from countries where poverty graduation programmes are operational, especially in Africa (Rwanda and Ethiopia) and Asia (Bangladesh).
Participants explored how social protection programmes can contribute to reducing poverty and building resilience for the poor and vulnerable people, through assisting them onto pathways to sustainable graduation from extreme poverty.
“Rwanda has been implementing social protection programmes especially since EDPRS I started in 2007. Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme was adopted as a tool to implement social protection, which was conceived as one of the flagships of EDPRS I,” James Musoni, Minister of Local Government, said.
“Social protection programmes paid off and more than one million Rwandans were lifted out of poverty within a period of five years. It is good to see that; the world has appreciated the Government of Rwanda’s efforts and wants to share our experience with others.”
Musoni added that the conference is an opportunity for Rwanda to showcase its achievements in socio-economic transformation, as well as to offer the world a glimpse of the realities in Rwanda without relying only on the Internet or media.
The following day, the conference will bring together the entire district vice mayors in charge of social affairs and key players under the social cluster, in order to discuss the implementation of key resolutions from the international conference.