President Paul Kagame yesterday opened the seventh Development Partners Meeting (DPM) in Kigali. Such a meeting provides a platform for candid talk between the government and its development partners for the good of the nation. The meeting should tackle seriously the issues of energy, infrastructure, education, health and others, which are cornerstone for sustainable development.
It also comes just days after the UN agencies in Rwanda unified their operations under one roof – ‘One UN Programme’ –, a rare but realistic move in an effort to harmonise development strategies and achieve growth.
Under ‘One UN Programme’, the agencies declared their allegiance with government in an effort to effectively implement UN reforms, in which Rwanda was chosen as one of the eight pilot countries.
A total of $488 million (about Frw257b) – over the next five years will be availed by the UN agencies through the deal.
Their programme is tailored to the national priorities laid out in the Vision 2020 and the Economic Development Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
It focuses on five key areas; governance, healthcare, education, environment and sustainable growth and social protection.
Such is the bold path that all the development partners including NGOs need to tread by harmonising their activities so that there is no duplication at the expense of other basic necessities.
Loans and grants have been flowing into many developing countries for many years, but poverty and illiteracy levels continue to dog majority of populations in recipient countries.
At this time when the world is desperate to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), governments and donors need to sit together, reflect on what has been lacking to bring about tangible development by identifying gaps and then jointly devise remedies.
While opening the DPM, President Kagame called on participants to prioritise infrastructure development especially in rural areas in a bid to connect the rural folk to the global markets.
The President’s call rightly fits the notion that a down-to-top participatory development approach is what is needed to achieve growth.
Indeed by involving local leaders in the planning, both government and donor monies will be spent on the right projects and pressing issues which are key to socio-economic development.