GASABO - The South Korea-Rwanda partnership on strengthening strategic planning skills of Rwanda’s policy makers and civil servants was officially launched Monday at the Office of the President.
Dr. David Himbara, Head of the Strategic Policy Unit (SPU) in the Office of the President, welcomed the Korean delegation which is led by a Project Leader, Prof. Hwang.
He pointed out that Rwanda had much to learn from Korea, a country that transitioned from being aid dependent in the 1950s to a leading world economy now providing support to developing countries such as Rwanda.
“The Korean delegation brings with them real expertise and practical advice on how to transition a country with a poor economic base, such as Rwanda, to a leading knowledge based economy. This builds on and complements other support, such as that provided by the Office of Tony Blair, ponted out Himbara.
“President Kagame has consistently urged that we rise to the challenge and make good use of valuable support of this kind, while viewing it as only temporary, rather than another form of long term dependency that fails to transfer skills and knowledge to Rwandans. Therefore everyone linked to this programme must proactively draw from the expertise and knowledge of the Korean team, so that Rwanda can rapidly drive forward its own development.”
Under the current project, five Korean experts in strategic planning, will be based in the Strategic Policy Unit of the Office of the President for a period of one year but will be work primarily with Rwandan counterparts in the relevant ministries and agencies on the agreed areas, which include: industrial policy and private sector development; investment and export promotion; human resource development and training; agriculture; and energy.
The Government has allocated a lead contact in each of these areas to work with the Koreans with the SPU providing oversight and coordination.
“In line with the Government of Rwanda’s vision and based on the lessons and experiences accumulated in Korea’s own development, it is my hope that this project will contribute in the much needed transformation of Rwanda’s economy”, noted Nam Kwon-Hyoung, the Resident Representative of KOICA.
The launch is the culmination of joint efforts which were reinforced by the official visit to Korea by President Kagame in May 2008 where in a meeting with Korean President Lee Myung-bak, the two heads of state reaffirmed commitment to cooperate on this capacity building project to enable the transfer of Korea’s vast knowledge and practical experience of policy and delivery to support Rwanda’s drive to foster a knowledge-based economy.