In the recent past,The Sunday Times has been giving you a series of interviews on “The journey to Vision 2020.” These interviews were captured from different personalities including public officials, investors, private business individuals; the list is endless.
This is mainly because we believe the achievement of vision 2020 is in the hands of all Rwandans, all of us as sons and daughters of our motherland.
Every individual, company, industry, organisation, nation, name it; that aims at success and development, must have targets, objectives and thus a vision. As regards countries; Kenya has vision 2030, Rwanda, Nigeria, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia, Moscow, UK among others have vision 2020 as their strategy for national development.
It is necessary that all Rwandans understand where and how the vision 2020 came into existence. This will hopefully enhance the spirit of combining our efforts so as to achieve a common goal, the vision 2020.
As we have always seen, the journey towards vision 2020 leaves no stone unturned as far as development is concerned. If somebody out there feels there is a burning issue which was left out in the document, then it should be mentioned.
In an attempt to show you the birth of vision 2020, I used the vision 2020 document itself and also gathered information from relevant policy makers who know the origins of the whole idea and below is how Rwanda’s vision 2020 came into existence.
In 1998-1999, the Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda launched national reflection sessions on the future of Rwanda.
The sessions were held in Village Urugwiro. After successful efforts in breaking the cycle of violence that had blighted Rwanda for 50 years, culminating in the horrifying genocide, the Government of National Unity felt the time had come for us, Rwandans, to start thinking about what kind of Nation we wanted in the future.
After extensive consultations, Government drafted a document called VISION 2020. This draft document was presented to a large cross-section of Rwandan society who took part in its amendment and validation.
The final result is the current document, in which a long-term development path for Rwanda is outlined and ambitious goals to be reached by the year 2020 are formulated.
VISION 2020 is a framework for Rwanda’s development, presenting the key priorities and providing Rwandans with a guiding tool for the future. It supports a clear Rwandan identity, whilst showing ambition and imagination in overcoming poverty and division.
The Rwandan Government, together with its partners, donors, civil society organisations and the private sector, is now in the process of formulating more detailed sectoral plans in order to attain the goals of VISION 2020.
The Vision expresses the aim of attaining per capita income of a middle-income country in an equitable way, and the aspiration to become a modern, strong and united nation, without discrimination among its citizens.
Six priority pillars and three cross-cutting areas were identified. The six pillars are: Good governance and a capable state; Human Resource development and a knowledge based economy; Private sector-led development; Infrastructure development; Productive high value and a market oriented agriculture; and Regional and International integration.
The three cross cutting areas are Gender; Natural resource; and the environment
Science, Technology and ICT
The development of which will be crucial for making the necessary long term transformations in Rwandan society happen and thus attaining the goals outlined above.
The crucial task ahead of us is to make these key pillars and cross-cutting areas move in tandem.
It is thus envisaged that in the short run, an effective state needs to be built, capable of formulating and implementing policies that will lay the foundation for private sector led growth.
A conducive environment will be built to enable Rwanda’s economy to diversify into the secondary and tertiary sectors, whilst in the long run an entrepreneurial middle class will take over the main thrust of Rwanda’s development effort from the State and foreign donors.
At the core of our development process will be what constitutes Rwanda’s principal asset: its people.
Human resources will be improved, so that Rwanda can become a knowledge-based economy. In particular, we will actively encourage science and technology education and ICT skills, which will also help in addressing the fact that our country is landlocked.
Whilst another cross-cutting areas; gender equality and environmental and natural resource management, are goals to be pursued in their own right, they will also contribute to the development of the other pillars and the overall goals of the VISION.
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