The government of the United Kingdom has chosen Rwanda along with Ethiopia to host a new pilot program for development assistance to Africa.
Upon its success, the new program would be replicated in other African countries, thus profoundly changing how UK administers her aid to Africa.
This was revealed by the UK Secretary of State for Overseas Development, Andrew Mitchell in an exclusive interview with The New Times.
“Since a decision has been made to increase the level of support to Rwanda by 50 percent over the next four years, we have an element of the program that is essentially result-based. We are piloting this new program in Rwanda and Ethiopia,” said Mitchell.
He said that the results of the program will give them an insight into how Britain would manage her development support to Africa in future.
“What this means is that if a recipient country gets the basics of the support package right, it qualifies for higher level of support, however, with much higher deliverables and targets,” he said, adding that the pilot project would be managed through a new framework based on “support for results”.
Britain is Rwanda’s biggest development partner and the latter is ranked among the largest beneficiaries of British aid.
Mitchell added that Rwanda provides his government with a perfect opportunity for developing and even elaborating on the new aid program since it has in place an ideal location for hosting the initiative, due in part to its prudent aid policy as well as value for aid money.
“Rwanda is one our most successful development partners. It means that at heart, we are friends of Rwanda. On development relationships, the kind of specific relationship we have with Rwanda is one of the best development relationships we have in the world”.
Mitchell says that the pilot program has been designed as part of his ministry’s wider calling to make a difference in UK development assistance to Africa.
Aid to Africa is a sensitive topic with various forums claiming that the aid has not worked well to get the continent out of poverty.
However, citing Rwanda’s example, the minister said that aid spent well works miracles.
“In Rwanda today, there are children who are alive, there are children who are in school, there are health facilities, which are delivering support for mothers who are about to have babies which are all there as a result of this partnership and development assistance from UK”.
Read the full details of the exclusive interview in tomorrow’s publication