Editorial: Busy pulling millions out of poverty, Rwanda has no time for distractions

Parliament has finally approved the budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020 that was read to them a short time ago. The major part of the close to Rwf three trillion tab will be spent towards economic transformation as well as infrastructure and improving the welfare of Rwandans.

The lots of millions have been improved for the better, not through mere handouts but unique out-of-the-box thinking such as the Vision 2020 Umurenge programme,  a home-grown social protection tool that many people do not actually know what it really does, but the people it affects directly do.

To break it down simply; when a local administration has some public works, it employs the most vulnerable who are paid for their labour. This way they are able to fend for their families without going around with a begging bowl.

Those too incapacitated to carry out any work, receive monthly direct support; they get a stipend and the government takes care of their medical insurance.

The organ to make sure it works like clockwork is the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), an institution under the Ministry of Local Government responsible for implementing local economic and community development policies and strategies, social protection and poverty reduction programs.

VUP-Umurenge is one programme that has not had its fair share of public coverage and exposure, yet it is the heart of this country’s transformation, not foreign aid as some are wont to claim.

Many people have many negative things to say about Rwanda and its trajectory, but when it comes to social protection they give up; they give credit where it’s due, albeit reluctantly.

So, one lesson one goes away with after witnessing the remarkable transformation, this country will never bend to any kind of foreign machinations as long as what it does is in the best interests of its people.