URUGWIRO VILLAGE - The United Kingdom will continue to support Rwanda in her efforts to achieve the development goals, as she continues to build on the progress that has been registered for the last 16 years.
The pledge was made by Andrew Mitchell, the visiting UK Secretary of State for International Development), shortly after holding talks with President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro, yesterday.
Mitchell who is also an MP from the ruling Conservative Party, noted that his visit was aimed at congratulating President Kagame upon re-election and also pledge the UK’s commitment to support the country’s development agenda.
“We had a very interesting discussion...we talked about the plans he and his government have; to take forward the development agenda. Britain is extremely supportive of that and we regard Rwanda as a tremendous development partner,”
“There has been great progress over recent years and we want to ensure that that progress continues and we play our part as Rwanda’s partners in achieving Vision 2020, which the President (Kagame) hopes that should be brought forward to 2017 and there is lots of ways in which we can help,” Mitchell said.
The British Minister added that supporting private sector development is one way in which the UK will help, adding that, it is through the private sector that people can work to lift themselves out of poverty.
Mitchell further pledged support in agriculture, health and infrastructure development.
“We have lots of plans to make sure that the private sector expands and grows and we are playing our part together with the Government of Rwanda to ensure that that happens,” he said.
The Minister added that Rwanda is aid effective and the UK is impressed with how Rwanda utilizes aid, adding that what taxpayers back in the UK and all over the world want, is to see aid money effectively used.
“Aid is very effectively used in Rwanda. We are very clear about the success of this partnership and we want to build on that. Around the world, hard-pressed taxpayers directly want to see that their money is well spent and also citizens want to hold their own leaders accountable for the effectiveness of the money being spent in their name,” Mitchell observed.
He noted that developing Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), infrastructure and energy, will be a priority and added that his talks with President Kagame touched on the extraction of methane gas and how it will increase power generation.
Mitchell, who had earlier held talks with the Ministers of Health, Finance and Information, noted that empowering the private sector will spur jobs and wealth creation, noting that the private sector worldwide employs more people than the public sector.
Speaking shortly after the talks, the Minister of Finance John Rwangombwa expressed satisfaction with the new commitments made by the UK Government particularly supporting the growth of the private sector and agriculture development.
“You must be aware that most donor countries are reviewing their support to development and one important message we got today is that the UK is committed to continue supporting Rwanda at the level they have been doing and we even hope to see them increase the support,”
“The other important message is that they (UK) are going to diversify their support to government programmes that are aimed at promoting the growth of the private sector. That’s a new area they are joining which is very important,” Rwangombwa said.
According to Protais Musoni, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information, in a meeting held earlier, the British minister pledged technical support towards the development of the media.
“We discussed media development, the outcome of the media dialogue and we showed him the plans we have for a vibrant media,” Musoni said.
Mr Andrew was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Nick Cannon and DfID Country Director, Elizabeth Carriere.
He is scheduled to visit several British-funded projects.