KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, emphasised that what developing nations like Rwanda need is a “meaningful relationship” with donors, where people are accorded the right to think and do what they think is in their best interest, and strongly stressed the need for accountability.
Addressing the 9th Government and Development Partners Meeting which began yesterday in Kigali, President Kagame said that developing countries do not need “endless lectures” but rather aid that can help in sustainable development.
The President singled out donors who use aid to interfere in the politics of recipient countries, noting that Rwandans are better placed to discern what is best for them
“I want to stress that Rwanda has long since come of age and that this government is part and parcel of our people, fully representative as they have so decided. And as we are able to manage our socio-economic process, so are we able to manage our political project,” he said.
“It is therefore sometimes uncalled for, that we become subjects of endless lectures of how we should manage ourselves. We know what is best for us. No one should pretend that they know better than us what we need for ourselves,” Kagame said.
He added that while development partners play a role in providing financial support to strengthen the democratic process, this can only succeed if the support is predictable, effective and supports the democratic processes a given country is building.
Kagame thanked the donors and said that Rwanda values the support it receives from the development partners and which has undoubtedly contributed to the good progress the country boasts of today.
“The aid received by countries like Rwanda, should seek to help us develop sustainably and in a dignified manner, rather than create dependency.
“In this meaningful relationship, we are always open to good ideas and innovations, but ultimately it is us who need to make the difficult decisions,” Kagame said.
Kagame noted that Rwanda has met its commitments and effected basic, yet critical, reforms in areas such as Public Financial Management, planning, audit and procurement procedures, which constitute a firm foundation for further reform and development adopted in the last meetings.
President Kagame thanked the World Bank Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili for delivering the good news of Rwanda’s performance in the 2011 WB Doing Business Report, adding that Rwanda becoming the 2nd best reformer is a sign that the reforms have been effective.
“Since these reforms do have impact, I want to thank Ms. Ezekwesili for being the bearer of good news on Rwanda’s performance in the Doing Business rankings 2011.”
“We have no intention of resting on our laurels and today’s announcement strengthens our resolve to not only continue the reforms but go further still,” President Kagame said.
On her part, Ezekwesili noted that Rwanda is a model of countries that are well on course to achieve the MDGs, adding that it was the reason the country merits support, adding has it has proved to be a model for countries utilising aid.
“For us Rwanda is a very important partner because of the results that we can clearly see and it is because of countries like Rwanda that we continue to push the envelop a little bit further and even move beyond aid effectiveness and begin to look at aid as investment,” she said.