Yesterday President Paul Kagame sounded a wake up call, on Rwandans in particular, and Africans in general, to do away with aid dependency including the ills that come with it.
Speaking at the traditional monthly press conference at Urugwiro village, the President urged us all to extricate ourselves out of the quagmire of perpetual donor dependency.
He alluded to the fact that, there are other global dynamics that have been imposed on us, such as the global financial crisis, which further prove the case on the ills of too much aid dependency.
The financial crisis means those with the cash will be cutting back, notwithstanding the strings attached to the pennies they throw at us when they feel the need.
Rwanda’s leadership over the months has sought to articulate a more internally focused, development plan that does not rely on hand outs from outside.
The leadership retreat held some two weeks ago, set the tone of government’s policy with regards to donor aid. The bottom line of this strong feeling towards aid is that it is a double edged sword; on the one hand you become a prisoner of external forces, while on the other you sink deeper into poverty.
It is this lose-lose scenario that President Kagame feels, Rwandans should be freed from, as they seek other alternate methods of self sustenance through savings mobilization. This means investing in key sectors of the country’s economy, from agriculture, infrastructure, to human development.
Already Rwanda is enjoying an economic growth of over 10%, a figure President Kagame, feels should be our starting point, to maintain, as we endeavour towards a path of self sustenance.
Rwandans cannot rest idly on their laurels, depending on handouts outs to feed and educate their families. It means hard work and the tightening of belts.
The ultimate benefit being, a nation that is able to feed itself, with its head held high as it enjoys the benefits, of doing away with the deeming impact of donor aid.
This is a winning formula if taken together with the President’s zero tolerance for corruption.