Rwanda offers unique lessons; outgoing EU chief

KIGALI - The outgoing Head of Delegation to Rwanda for the European Union, David MacRae, has revealed that Rwanda’s reconstruction process is a unique case study for development experts. MacRae, who has served in Rwanda for five years, said that he is particularly impressed by the security situation as a key overriding factor in championing and creating a good environment for reconstruction.
 FOR ANOTHER ASSIGNMENT: David MacRae
FOR ANOTHER ASSIGNMENT: David MacRae

KIGALI - The outgoing Head of Delegation to Rwanda for the European Union, David MacRae, has revealed that Rwanda’s reconstruction process is a unique case study for development experts.

MacRae, who has served in Rwanda for five years, said that he is particularly impressed by the security situation as a key overriding factor in championing and creating a good environment for reconstruction.

In an exclusive interview with The New Times MacRae termed his tour of duty in Rwanda as one filled with satisfaction in his vocation as a long serving diplomat.

MacRae who served the European Commission since 1978 in different capacities has been posted to Nigeria
Asked about the lessons he will carry to his next posting from Rwanda, MacRae said that he is impressed with the accountability within leadership facilitated by home-grown solutions such as performance contracts.

“Decentralisation as a pro-people governance system that is truly accountable to those being governed is another important area which I have learnt.

This is very different from other areas where I have served even here in Africa where decision making is normally highly centralized”

“Rwanda seeks to look at public service within a different hindsight as opposed to stations where I have been able to serve”, he said.

On the sour relations between Rwanda and France which is a member of the EU, MacRae said that the Union’s position at that time served to diffuse the tension as it sought to take a neutral position on what was clearly a breakdown of bilateral relations between the two countries.

MacRae also said that part of his satisfaction stemmed from the kind of relationship his mission had with the government.
“My job has been to deliver balanced outputs in terms of my mission interventions in Rwanda. ”he added.

The outgoing envoy also commented on the forthcoming presidential polls slated for 2010, on which he said in his opinion a level playing field exists in Rwanda.

“Only that in a situation where the incumbent is widely respected and supported by the strongest party, then any contender would have to contend with such situations.”

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