IF THE composition of the new cabinet that was sworn in yesterday is anything to go by, then it is a clear indication of what its priorities will be.
This is informed by the fact that two key ministries; Agriculture and Finance, were restructured to reintroduce state minister portfolios.
Even though the Ministry of Agriculture has complete new faces at the helm, it was one of the most outstanding: It managed to guarantee food security and reduce on food imports at a time when many African countries were experiencing a reverse trend.
So, it was not a coincidence that when the Minister for Finance read the 2014/2015 budget, he announced that the lion’s share of the budget would go towards the implementation of the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Eradication Strategy (EDPRS II).
By allocating 52 per cent of the Rwf1.73 Trillion to the strategy, the government was sending a clear message that the first phase had been instrumental in driving the country’s economy, thus the need to shore up key development components, including agriculture.
Agriculture has long been the country’s and rural population’s oxygen; the mainstay of the economy, a reason why economic development and agricultural export promotion are inseparable.
With the current budget reserving 14 per cent to development initiatives such as health, rural development and social protection, the dice has been cast; a test for the incoming team to gauge whether it will emulate its predecessor or … soar even higher.