The Rwanda National Human Development Report urges for a new push in investment and aid to achieve the MDGs

26 Jul 2007

The National Human Development Report 2007 released on Thursday in Kigali has called for a new agenda of scaling up of investment, increase in the quantity and quality of Official Development Assistance (ODA). The report further urges development stakeholders in Rwanda to promote a greater coordination and management of aid.

The report entitled “Turning Vision 2020 into Reality. From Recovery to Sustainable Human  Development” has been commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda and prepared by a group of researchers from the National University  of  Rwanda.  It  has  seen  the  participation  of  different  stakeholders  from government, civil society organizations, donors and the academia.

“The report constitutes a rigorous and objective piece of research, which takes a hard look at the facts, as they are, without trying to embellish them or tweak them to suite one or the other interest. This independence is key to the credibility of the analytical findings and the value of the report for strategic planning purposes”, said Moustapha Soumare, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, emphasizing the independence of this report, which represents neither the views of UNDP nor the government or the National University of Butare.

The report reveals that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can still be achieved in Rwanda, even within reasonable assumptions about economic growth and development aid. However, achieving this will require us to break with the “business as usual” approach to development assistance, and create a mutually accountable partnership for human development. This partnership should bridge the two missing links of development assistance in Rwanda: the link from aid to national development strategies and the link from public spending to the MDGs and targeting the most vulnerable in society.

The report reveals that soaring inequality is threatening poverty reduction and economic growth. According to the report, Rwanda’s high growth rates hide large and growing inequalities between social classes, geographic regions and gender. These disparities cut across all sectors and undermine Rwanda’s progress towards the MDGs in all areas from health to education and even poverty reduction. Rwanda’s recent growth has largely bypassed the rural poor, leading to a concentration of wealth at the top of the income distribution, and an increase in the country’s Gini coefficient from 0.47 to 0.51 from 2001 to 2006.With rising inequality, we estimate that Rwanda could soon have exhausted its ability to reduce poverty rates through economic growth alone, says the report.

It is released at an appropriate time when Rwanda is finalizing the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS). “This Report has been released at the particular time when we are finalizing the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy document.  Similarly  to  the  Report,  the  EDPRS  focuses  on  economic  growth,  poverty.

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Naussica Habimana Kantegwa
Communication analyst
Phone : +250 252 590423