In addition to separate discussions the Minister of Finance James Musoni, held with various economic institutions during the just ended WB/ IMF Spring meetings, the Minister also signed the “Community Living Standard Grant” with the WB Country Director, Johannes Zutt.
The $10m grant will be partly financed by the World Bank and by a Multi -Donors Trust Fund (MDTF), which aims at increasing service delivery of primary health care in Rwanda whilst the WB Grant will supplement the second flagship programme of the Economic Development and Poverty reduction Strategy (EDPRS) the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme.
Rwanda is also among the three African countries that attracted the attention of the WB’s Africa Region Vice-President, Obiageli Ezekwesili, to discuss ways for capacity development in their respective countries.
According to a WB statement other countries invited to the meeting that took place in New York include Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We are here to listen, tell us how we can better assist you,” appealed Ezekwesili to the three African ministers during a seminar ahead of the 2009 Spring meetings that were held in Washington DC from April 23 to 26.
Ezekwesili asked the Ministers from the three countries to explain capacity development efforts in their countries, and identify what has and has not worked, and how donors can provide more effective support for human development, infrastructure, and public sector reforms.
The WB/ IMF Spring meetings, whose main objective was to provide a global platform for leaders of the world to discuss the latest developments related to the International Financial and Economic Crisis, were attended by a Rwandan delegation lead by Minister Musoni.
During the meetings, Musoni shared Rwanda’s experience by explaining at length the significant progress made in the reconstruction of the country since the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
He said it was crucial for the donor community to understand the context in which each country operates, saying that in some cases, the political leadership may not be ready.
“Donors need to get a strong buy-in from leaders before proceeding with capacity development,” Musoni said, adding that capacity development aid needs to be part of a national development plan.
In that regard, he cited specific innovative measures adopted to develop capacity in Rwanda, such as tax exemptions for investments related to capacity development.
The country also loosened its visa regulations to attract skilled professionals from other countries in the sub-region.
Over the meetings, African Low Income Countries reiterated their concerns regarding the impact of the crisis on economic gains made in recent years, asserting that the current “bail out” packages are not adequately targeting low income countries.
The panel also discussed what development partners need to do differently to facilitate capacity building in post-conflict or fragile nations, such as building local fiduciary capacity, simplifying cumbersome procurement procedures, demonstrating flexibility in aligning with pressing national capacity priorities, focusing efforts in select areas, and improving predictability of donor resources.