Our Perspective

      • What is Inclusive and Equitable Growth and Development and What Can be Done to Promote or Reinforce them? / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        29 Oct 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Why the inclusive and equitable growth development agenda? At the time President Kagame, his movement and comdrades identified over twenty-one years ago inclusive and equitable approach to development as a key element of their vision for reconstructing a new Rwanda where insidious discrimination would be banished and where every Rwandan, regardless of their ethnic background, class or location, would be provided with the same opportunities for improving their lives, inclusive and equitable development was not fashionable in most African countries. That period marked in large measure the height of the structural adjustment era when the main preoccupation for economic policy making was fiscal retrenchment, tight monetary policies and reining in state intervention in the mainstream economic activities in order to restore macroeconomic balance and stability as well as put back the economies on more sustainable growth paths. Equity considerations were definitely not high on the development agenda then. Consequently, the key tenets of Development Economics, which held sway in the 1970s and 1980s, among which was a focus on income distributional issues, were consigned to the back burners by Neo-Classical Economics. In any case, most Governments at the time  Read More

      • The United Nations at 70 - Preparing grounds for supporting accelerated progress towards a more equitable, just and sustainable world for all / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        23 Oct 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda “The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an opportunity to reflect – to look back on the UN’s history and take stock of its enduring achievements. It is also an opportunity to spotlight where the UN – and the international community as a whole – needs to redouble its efforts to meet current and future challenges across the three pillars of its work: peace and security, development, and human rights.” – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon If we are lucky enough as individuals to make it to 70 years old, most of us would probably wish to be retired, sitting back in a comfy chair and enjoying the fruits of our labor. However, when the United Nations turns 70 on Saturday, 24 October 2015, its 193 member states and all its staff – including 650 of us who work for the UN in Rwanda – know that our work is far from over. There is no room for the leisure and comforts of retirement. In addition to reaching the end of its seventh decade, this year marks two other important milestones for the UN. This is the year  Read More

      • Reinforcing partnerships for durable peace / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        29 Sep 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda As in the past years, Rwanda joined the international community on September 21st this year in observing the International Day of Peace. This is the occasion through which the United Nations calls for a global ceasefire while seeking to strengthen the ideals of peace and durable stability, both within and among all nations and peoples. This call has been reiterated by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, in this year’s message in which he said: “I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace." The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society as well as a variety of stakeholders across nations to work together to strive for peace. In Rwanda, the close partnership forged by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and the Peace One Day Organization in organizing memorable events on the IDP, including a music concert, gave concrete meaning to this theme. The work  Read More

      • International Day of Democracy: Building Vibrant Democracies and Reinforcing Good Governance Processes for Inclusive and Sustainable Development / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        21 Sep 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda The global community celebrated the International Day of Democracy (IDD) on September15, 2015, in accordance with the proclamation made by the UN General Assembly in 2007. This occasion provides each year the global community with an important opportunity to celebrate the progress made towards promotingdemocracy and good governance across the planet as well as reflect on the challenges that still remain. Rwanda will conduct its own celebrations on September 29th in the National Parliament. The importance of, or,as some observers would always insist, the necessity for,well - functioning democracies and good governance lies in their close correlation with stability, rule of law and sustainable development as well as intrinsic human fulfilment. The latter encapsulates the basic human desire for freedom of association and expression as well as the right to periodically choose people who would lead them. Undoubtedly, these points have been, and continue to be, passionately debated across the world. This is due in large measure to the varying interpretations or definitions that areusually given to democracy. The famous Nigerian Social Scientist,Dele Olowu, aptly puts it as follows: “In the last two decades, governance has become an important  Read More

      • Enhancing youth engagement for inclusive and sustainable development / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        15 Aug 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda The global community celebrated the 2015 International Youth Day (IYD) on August 12, 2015. On its part, Rwanda will celebrate this important day on August 22with activities throughout the country, under the direct coordination of the Ministry of Youth and ICT with the active involvement of the National Youth Council. The theme selected by the UN Secretary-General for this year’s celebration of the IYD is “civic engagement”, which underscores the imperative for mobilizing the youth and ensuring their strong engagement in the implementation of the new global development agenda that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2016. As the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon aptly puts it: “The sustainable development goals are for you (the youth) – and they will only be achieved with you (the youth)”. But before proceeding, it is useful to recall the origin and significance of the International Youth Day, because it is particularly pertinent to today’s circumstances. In this regard, we would like to note that the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 54/120, endorsed on December 17, 1999, the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers of Youth (Lisbon,  Read More

      • Emergence or structural economic transformation: which is which for African countries? / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        23 Jul 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Between March 18 and 20 this year, a major international Conference on the Emergence of African countries took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  It was jointly organized by the Government of Cote D’Ivoire and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with the World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADB). The general objective of the conference was to spur exchange of ideas on emergence and pre-conditions for it’s acceleration in African countries, drawing on the dynamics that have driven economic and social transformation in the well-known emerging countries, mainlyChina, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. This came on the heels of the increasingly prominent debates that have been going on within the academic and policy circles over the past ten years on issues of emerging countries and economies around the world. In Africa in particular, the optimism associated with the significant economic growth rates witnessed since the late 1990s has given confidence to many countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal, among others, to aim at becoming emerging or middle income economies by set deadlines through their  Read More

      • What global financing for development agenda means for Africa / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        16 Jul 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda As this article is being read, the world’s leaders, including President Paul Kagame, will be nearing the point of formally adopting the final Outcome Document of the Third Financing for Development Conference (FfD), being held in Addis Ababa between 13 to 16 July. As many readers of The New Times and observers are aware by now, this Conference is one of the key milestones on the path towards the adoption at the September 2015 UN General Assembly of the new global development agenda and its underpinning 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Much has also by now been written on, and communicated about, the SDGs. Suffice to recall that the new global development agenda they will be underpinning are much more ambitious than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the preamble of the Outcome Document of the Addis Ababa FfD Conference, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives themselves clearly put it as follows:“ We have gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13 to 16 July 2015, to address the challenges of financing for sustainable development in the spirit of global partnership and solidarity … Our goal is  Read More

      • SDGs and what they mean for Rwanda / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        03 Jul 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda This article is a sequel to the one published on June 8 edition (appearing in The New Times on the same date) on the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to SustainableDevelopment Goals (SDGs), which focused more on the lessons that have been learnt from the processes leading up to the introduction of the MDGs in September 2000 and their implementation through to today. With the imminent launching of the SDGs at the next UN General Assembly in September 2015, such lesson learning is essential as it could contribute significantly to enhancing the chances of greater ownership by all the stakeholders of the Post-2015 agenda and thus much better implementation of the SDGs and higher chances for the realisation of the underlying objectives for their introduction compared to the MDGs. We have noted in the article that indeed this time around, there has been demonstrated political will to learn those lessons and put them to good effect in the formulation of the SDGs, starting with mass sensitisation of people across the world over the past two and a half years to the incoming global development agenda and affording  Read More

      • Shaping the Global Development Agenda after the MDGs and what it means for Africa and Rwanda / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        08 Jun 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda As the twilight rapidly sets in on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with their end-2015 deadline fast approaching, the efforts that have already been underway for at least two years now for ushering in another new dawn for a global development compact are also at full speed. These are being carried out in the context of what is now dubbed as “the Post-2015 Consultations” aimed at shaping the new development agenda for the world and its implementation, monitoring and reporting mechanisms for another 15 years after the expiry of the MDGs. In this process, a great deal of political will has been demonstrated together  and actively utilise the lessons of experience from the implementation of the MDGs as well as the benefits of hindsight regarding what could have been done better during the preparations for the MDGs before their launching at the Millennium Summit in September 2000. What are these lessons and how are African countries also utilising them? What do they mean for Rwanda, in particular? It is useful to start with those basics. In my article on MDGs published by The New Times on June 26, 2014, I argued  Read More

      • Time to become better stewards of our planet / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        05 Jun 2015

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on June 5th as the United Nations’ principal avenue for raising worldwide awareness about sound environmental management and spurring positive actions for sustainable development. Over the years, the day has grown to be a global platform for public outreach activities where millions of people across the world come together at community, national, regional and global levels to promote and galvanize individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on efforts aimed at protecting our planet.   This year, Rwanda launched the National Environment Week (NEW) under the leadership of Honourable Dr Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment at the Lycee Notre Dame de Citeaux (LNDC), as a prelude to the WED. LNDC was an appropriate launching pad for the NEW because it’s Head Mistress, teachers and pupils have demonstrated admirable commitment to putting into effect sound environmental protection and green economy principles. The launching was followed by a series of awareness campaigns and concrete environmental actions in both the other urban areas and local communities around the country, culminating in the WED. This year’s  Read More