PAC wants government to focus on drivers of economic transformation

The meeting of Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) has recommended that the government concentrates its efforts on strengthening drivers of economic transformation.
<p>L-R: Michael Roux, Chairman of Roux International, and Australian Davos Connection; Retired Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana,  Chairman, National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, ....

L-R: Michael Roux, Chairman of Roux International, and Australian Davos Connection; Retired Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana, Chairman, National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, ....

The meeting of Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) has recommended that the government concentrates its efforts on strengthening drivers of economic transformation.

The Minister of Finance, Amb. Claver Gatete who took part in the meeting, disclosed this to reporters, after President Paul Kagame’s advisors gathered at their 12th meeting at Village Urugwiro, yesterday.

According to the minister, PAC encouraged the government to proceed with its plans to invest in drivers of a fast economic transformation, rural development, and massive skills development while ensuring accountability in governance.

The advisors commended the government for the progress after they were briefed on the state of the country’s current economy as well as recent positive changes in the sectors of health and education as a result of the country’s community-based health insurance scheme (Mutuelle de Santé) and the Nine-Year Basic Education programme. 

Priority areas

The minister told reporters that massive investments would need to go into infrastructure and energy, increase of exports, developing some rural areas into exemplary cities, training Rwandans on technical and vocational skills, accountable governance, and enticing the private sector to invest more.

“We need to work extraordinarily to develop people’s lives,” Gatete said. “There is a lot that has already been done, but there is also a lot to do.”

The country’s top leaders recently resolved to focus their work in the next five years on improving the energy sector, transport services, urbanisation, and vocational training to fast-track the country’s dream of becoming a middle-income economy by the year 2020.

 That is when the country’s GDP per capita is projected to increase from the current $644 to $1,240.

As a medium term plan to fast-track the progress towards achieving the dream, government has set up a five-year development plan, the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, which targets 11.5 per cent annual growth for the next five years.

The country’s economy grew by 8 per cent last year, a rate that both government officials and independent analysts have interpreted as a sign of Rwanda’s economic resilience and stability having taken place amid aid cuts and uncertainties in the global economy.

Progressive sectors

PAC member Kaia Miller, founder of Aslan Global Management, a company that works to improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa, said Rwanda has done incredibly well in health, nutrition and education sectors, and there is need to strengthen what was achieved and do more to ensure the Rwandan people are both skilled and healthy.

“People are the driving force of economic growth,” she said, at Village Urugwiro where she has been brainstorming with other presidential advisors to offer strategic advice on how to achieve vision 2020.

She also said the country will need to broaden its export base and mobilise funds domestically among nationals if it is to achieve sustainable economic growth.

PAC, a 23-member council, was formed in September 2007 and meets twice a year, chaired by President Kagame, with the aim of identifying new and practical interventions to drive forward Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation.

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