EDITORIAL: Journey towards doing away with aid on track

The Government has given itself a target of creating at least 200,000 off-farm jobs and this year it is no different with 213,198 new jobs set to be created.
Finance and Economic Planning minister Uzziel Ndagijimana presents the 2019/20-2021/22 Budget Framework Paper to both chambers of Parliament yesterday. / Sam Ngendahimana

A couple of years ago, Rwanda’s budget struggled to hit the trillion franc mark, but even then, three-quarters of it came from donors, a very untenable situation, therefore something had to be done and done with a sense of purpose.

That is when the country embarked on the tough journey of weaning itself off aid. Many thought it was a utopian dream which was not bad in itself as long as the country worked hard to realise the dream.

The hard work has begun to pay off.

This year’s budget is close to three trillion Rwandan francs and only around 15 per cent will come from donors. With most of the money going towards economic development and economic growth consistently hovering around eight per cent in the last decade, the target to do away with aid is just around the corner.

But first, we have to create wealth, which means that more jobs will have to be created. The Government has given itself a target of creating at least 200,000 off-farm jobs and this year it is no different with 213,198 new jobs set to be created.

Even though the 14.5 per cent unemployment rate is modest by African standards, it should not be allowed to soar beyond that point. Therefore, the Government needs to invest more in job creation by empowering its nationals to the point where it will not only be exporting commodities, but labour as well.

These are stuff dreams are made of, and luckily, this country is not afraid to dream big.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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