The government of Rwanda and the development partners have set themselves 11 April as the date to submit documents stating their targets on which projects they will undertake.
This will be done to ensure proper implementation of the Economic Development for Poverty Reduction Strategies (EDPRS) programme.
The donors have also promised to speed up performance so as to beat deadlines they have set, along with the government of Rwanda in a document known as the Paris Declaration.
This declaration is a working document that Rwanda and the development partners committed themselves to in 2005.
Part of the Paris Declaration requirements is the ownership of development projects by Rwandans to ensure long term sustainability.
In a joint communiqué at the end of a two-day EDPRS monitoring and evaluation retreat held last week in Gisenyi, Rwanda and the development partners discussed mechanisms on how each donor could align with Rwanda’s national development priorities. The donors also agreed to support Rwanda’s national development programmes by not duplicating aid.
“Donors agree to reflect on performance at the individual level and communicate clearly to the Government of Rwanda and each other, concrete actions that will be undertaken to ensure tangible progress towards the Paris target.”
Finance Minister James Musoni had earlier remarked that the donors had a lot to offer to Rwanda and the retreat would help streamline which sector particular donors would contribute to.
“Because many of them could participate in several projects, we are looking at which sector each donor can handle. That way we can benefit from comparative advantage depending on which sector they fund,” said Musoni.
He added that the retreat was also going to draw mechanisms for maximizing aid use in Rwanda and avoiding duplication.
The retreat brought together many of Rwanda’s donor partners which included five UN agencies in Rwanda among them, the World Food Programme, UNICEF, UNDP, the European Union, African Development Bank, UK’s DFID (Department of Foreign and International Assistance), and several envoys to Rwanda from Canada, Belgium, Sweden and Japan.
However, the joint communiqué states that participants in the retreat were disappointed with the slow effectiveness of aid to Rwanda as agreed between development partners and government of Rwanda in 2005.
The partners however lauded Rwanda’s move to introduce legal and procedural reforms to improve public financial procurement and management. The document also notes the poor performance of donors in regard to public financial management.
The new UN Resident country representative to Rwanda, Dr. Joseph Foumbi, said that in the coming weeks, donors would come up with a clear indication of what projects each would undertake.