With the UN Millennium Development Goals’ deadline approaching, Rwanda can be proud of its achievements in meeting the targets in al-most all areas. Rwanda’s success has been driven by the country’s determination to use the Goals to develop ambitious but concrete strategies, prioritizing growth acceleration and poverty reduction through economic transformation, rural development, productivity and youth employment, as well as accountable governance.
As a result, over the last decade, real GDP growth averaged at about 8% per annum; poverty rate has dropped from 59% to 45%; more than 95% of children now have access to primary education; infant mortality saw a reduction of more than 70%; and three quarters of the population gained access to drinking water.
While the Rwandan government has a lot to celebrate, this couldn’t have been achieved without the commitment and hard work of entire communities that took charge of their own lives and developed home grown solutions. As a matter of fact, decentralization has been a cornerstone of Rwanda’s approach to development and is proving more successful than traditional top-down methods.