URUGWIRO VILLAGE - The outgoing World Bank (WB) Country Manager Victoria Kwakwa has expressed optimism on the country’s development trends, saying she leaves with a very good impression. She said this yesterday at Urugwiro Village, shortly after bidding farewell to President Paul Kagame.
“The objective of the meeting was to say goodbye to the President and thank him for the very good collaboration and the partnership that I have had in the time that I have worked here,” Kwakwa said, adding that they had also discussed about Rwanda’s partnership with the WB.
“A partnership that is in a process of change, a process of strengthening that can make it more responsive to Rwanda’s development objectives,” she added, noting that they also discussed Africa and Rwanda’s possible role on the continent.
Kwakwa leaves to take up a new job as WB country director in Vietnam.
“In a nutshell, I think, to be modest I would say I leave with a very good impressions of this country, very good impressions of its leadership and the way the things are done here.” She also commended what she sees as the discipline and desire to move the country and Rwandans forward.
“I have very good impressions on the attitude that Rwanda can be whatever it wants to be and can make a difference in Africa. Overall, for me it’s a very positive feeling and a positive impression as I leave.”
Kwakwa, however, acknowledged not being unaware of the country’s residual challenges.
“As the President has always insisted, Rwanda has made a lot of progress and still has along way to go and, every time he mentions that, he stresses so clearly that the job is not finished.”
“The development agenda is huge and the challenge is to continue to build on the progress, continue to improve and get more results.”
Rwanda has been widely commended for various achievements since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that left it devastated.
Some of the results of its achievements is the recent approval by the European Union (EU) of major a increase in its budget support to Rwanda – US$ 175 million (approx Rwf 140 billion), in a new “improved” form of aid known as the MDG-Contract.
Rwanda is the first African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) country to benefit from the grant because, according to as EU Development Commissioner, Louis Michel, it was a “very successful” country in terms of aid effectiveness.
According to the EU, beneficiaries of the grant are countries that have demonstrated good performance and sound economic management over an extended period of time.