Government officially launched the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV 3) report as well as the fourth Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 4) this Tuesday, which indicated how the country’s economy performed over the last five years.
As the country weighs the gains of the first EDPRS, which was launched in 2006, fresh targets have been set for the next five years, ending 2017, after the country surpassed its own targets set in the Vision 2020.
With a 12 percent reduction in poverty recorded over the last first years, an equivalent of one million Rwandans (or 200,000 households), Rwanda will be seeking to set more ambitious targets to ensure that 45 percent of its citizens are out of poverty under EDPRS 2.
The elaboration of the EDPRS 2, a hybrid version of the first one, was launched on the same day and between now and October, a draft containing sector strategies, District Development Plans (DDPs) as well as proposed budget and needs assessment for the next five years will be submitted.
The targets have been set, focusing on infrastructure and energy development, skills and capacity building, job creation, markets and increased access to health and education.
According to Kampeta Sayizonga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the government will set ambitious targets in the next EDPRS, having achieved some of the targets set in the Vision 2020.
“We need to set ambitious targets paving the way to Vision 2020. The self assessment report shows that on some targets, we have actually achieved what was set in the Vision 2020.
“We will need to revise the targets but we won’t revise the vision.,” Kampeta says.
The roadmap will see sector strategies and all development stakeholders draw targets and what it will take to achieve them before compilation in a draft report to be submitted to the Technical and National Steering Committee.
“Between March and October, we are planning to have the sector strategies developed. In the first EDPRS, we first had the EDPRS and then we asked the sectors to elaborate the strategies and as a result, some of the sectors elaborated their strategies fairly late,” Kampeta points out.
“This time, we want to ensure that the second EDPRS will be available along with the sector strategies and the District Development Plans. The DPPs will be key because we want to make sure that they are aligned to the sector strategies and national EDPRS,” she adds.
According to Kampeta, during the same period, cost and needs assessment for the EDPRS 2 will be made and by October, a first draft will be validated at the technical level and by December, a final draft will be validated at the national and district level.
“By January 2013, we schedule to present the second EDPRS to parliament,” Kampeta discloses.
The surveys indicate a steady progress in poverty reduction, especially in rural areas, but most importantly, it showed that most of the people who moved from rural to urban areas were mainly not job seekers but people who moved with productive things to do.
While in terms of skills there has been a major improvement as well as an increase in secondary and primary enrolment, the country will focus on investing where challenges remain such as reducing the pupil to teacher ratio.
“Enrolment increased so quickly and unfortunately, we didn’t manage to train sufficient teachers in time to keep the ratio stable. The ratio has improved though compared to 2006, from 70:1 to 58:1. We are not yet there to the ratio we want of 47:1,” Kampeta states.
The government has since embarked on a plan to recruit over 4,000 teachers from the region to fill the gap, as well as short and long term teachers training programmes.
According to the PS, in a bid to have a healthy population, the government will consolidate its achievements in reducing infant and maternal mortality levels as well Mutuelle de Sante.
The government will embark on a plan to increase ‘ownership’ of programmes under the EDPRS 2, not only among citizens but also government institutions and agencies most of which have since been merged, to increase their efficiency.
The Minister of Local Government James Musoni mentions that since 2006, government programmes aimed at eradicating poverty moved reasonably fast because of the participatory role of the citizens, where decentralisation played a key role.
“Ownership and participation of the citizens was the driving force behind most of these programmes. For us to progress in the next phase of EDPRS, all the programmes must be fully owned and driven forward by citizens,” Musoni remarks.
Musoni points out some programmes which were highly successful, including the Nine Year Basic Education program, which were carried out by the citizens themselves while, in some instances, friction was created between citizens and leaders in the implementation process.
“Some local leaders would act as if they were forcing people to engage in some of the activities, something which was wrong. What we want is to show the citizens that the programmes are to their own benefit, and as such, they should own them.” Musoni emphasises.