Citizen participation in national projects is vital

THE 2014/15 national budget presented to parliament on Thursday earmarked infrastructure financing as a key tool to boost exports as the country embarks on the second year of implementing the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), a five-year development roadmap.

THE 2014/15 national budget presented to parliament on Thursday earmarked infrastructure financing as a key tool to boost exports as the country embarks on the second year of implementing the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), a five-year development roadmap.

 It is no doubt that investment in infrastructure like roads and energy will be a major enabler for the achievement of the targets enshrined in the strategy, central of them being setting the country on path to make Rwanda a medium income economy by the year 2020. 

It will however not end at budgetary allocation, the implementation phase is more important. Time and again, we have seen institutions in charge of implementing certain projects either return the funds to government coffers at the closure of the financial year, or at worst, misappropriating them.

This should not happen and it is equally a good initiative on behalf of the drafters, who in the new budget committed 3 per cent of the national cake towards sensitizing Rwandans to demand accountability from the government, meaning that a population that knows what it wants will most likely put to task government technocrats to ensure the budget is implemented.

This citizen participation will also yield results in a way that people stop looking at projects as belonging to the government, but rather own them, which means jealously guarding the public goods that will be built under the infrastructure docket.

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