GASABO - The MDG Centre in the Earth Institute of Columbia University has entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Local Government to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the scaling up of the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP).
The agreement to set the agenda of the cooperation was signed between Minister of Local Government James Musoni and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of Earth Institute, on Thursday, at the ministry’s offices in Gasabo District, Kigali.
According to the MoU, the university will provide technical expertise from its pool of sector advisors in the areas of irrigation, infrastructure, climate change, energy, food security management of data system, access to drinking water and agribusiness.
MINALOC, which oversees the implementation of Vision 2020 Umurenge Program, will be the implementation agency of the project that will last for a renewable three year period.
Musoni thanked the university, adding it was a good initiative that would elevate the welfare of nationals.
“The signing and implementation of this MoU will give us an opportunity to have an MDG appraisal of VUP to know the gaps and design strategies to address them,” he said.
“We will use this as a basis to have a National MDG scale up strategy in future that will be complementing our recently approved Social Protection Strategy entailing ways of curbing poverty among poor Rwandans”.
Colombia University will participate in resource mobilisation and link the government with potential socially motivated partners to enhance attainment of MDGs and provide VUP with strategic guidance and advisory support through its sector specialists on the identified intervention areas.
Speaking after the signing, Prof Sachs who is also the Economic Advisor to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, acknowledged that he was inspired by the rapid economic growth and good leadership in the country.
“You’re moving forward and we are excited to collaborate with the Rwandan government that has good leadership and commitment towards achieving millennium development goals. You just tell me what assistance you need, we are ready to provide it,” he underlined.