KIGALI - Rwandan Members of Parliament yesterday officially joined the Network of Parliamentarians on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), during an event that took place at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura.
The launch was witnessed by visiting Nigerian lawmakers.
The move is aimed at accelerating actions towards effective development strategies for the realisation of the MDGs which are set to have been achieved by 2015.
“The Network of Parliamentarians on MDGs undertakes to create awareness, build capacity of African MPs on poverty eradication, while building strategic partnership and enhancing African visibility in their respective development platforms,” said Leonard W. Dilkon, the head of the Nigerian delegation.
In December last year, Members of Parliament from Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe met in Nairobi to strategise on how to enhance the role of parliaments in making MDGs achievable in Africa.
It is from this meeting that MPs resolved to establish an African Network of Parliamentarians for the MDGs, according to reports.
This Network was subsequently established in March this year at the inter-parliamentary conference that was hosted by the National Assembly of Nigeria.
“In adopting the ‘NO EXCUSE 2010’ dictum we should show exemplary commitment towards checking our national governments to focus on programmes and projects aimed at attaining the MDGs,” Dilkon said.
“We firmly believe that through concentrated efforts, speaking with one voice and pursuing a common agenda to address poverty and inequality throughout Africa, we will attain the MDGs”.
The ceremony was flagged off by the Speaker of Parliament Rose Mukantabana by kicking a ball – a sign of kicking poverty out of Africa.
Rwandan MP, Gideon Kayinamura, said that the Nigerian delegation is also in the country on a study tour and that they will be borrowing a leaf from Rwanda’s strategy in achieving the MDGs.
“They have a lot to learn from Rwanda, especially in terms of partnering with donors to make various programmes achievable, like health and education,” said Kayinamura.
Currently Rwanda is ranked as a top performer on the continent in achieving the MDGs.
The Nigerian delegation is in the country for one week and part of their visit is to introduce and promote the network as well as the role of parliamentarians in the national and global efforts geared towards achieving the MDGs.