In development rhetoric, foreign aid is about generating opportunity and prosperity, for poor people through promoting economic growth and the private sector especially small and medium enterprises. Aid can bring about change, promote growth or save lives in very different ways if well utilised. However, in most of the African countries, corruption has taken centre stage.
Aid effectiveness has become a central notion in the aid industry due to the issue of corruption especially in Africa. However, for the last 17 years, Rwanda has received glowing tribute from development partners as one of the few countries in Africa that have utilised donor aid effectively. True, since the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, Rwanda has changed dramatically.
I visited Kigali last week and was surprised how fast the country had transformed in virtually every sector. In other countries, people would rather keep silent about corruption but not in Rwanda where there is political will to fight the vice.
It is notable that today, the challenges of aid and corruption are compound and politically sensitive. Yet, other African governments should replicate Rwanda’s efforts by embarking on bolder governance reforms to effectively utilise aid and minimise graft.
Richard B. Kamau