Rwanda emerging from “poverty trap”
By BiztechAfrica – Feb. 11, 2012, 9:55 a.m.
A focused strategy and improved infrastructure is helping lift Rwanda from the “poverty trap” says President Paul Kagame.
The President was speaking during the release of a report on the first phase of the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS). The first phase was deemed successful, and Rwanda is now embarking on phase two.
Kagame said: “Over the past five years more than one million Rwandans lifted themselves out of poverty. The Third Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (ECIV3) and Fourth Demographic Health Survey (DHS4) that are being published today confirm that Rwanda – with good partnership – is on track to achieve most Millennium Development Goals. All this is directly related to the successful implementation of our first EDPRS.”
The EDPRS covered the period 2008-2012 and set the country’s developmental objectives.
The report on its progress noted the success of a range of programmes. The overall objective of the EDPRS was to reduce the share of the population living in poverty from 56.9% in 2005/6 to 46% in 2012/13 and this target has already been met in 2011. The target of reducing extreme poverty from 37% in 2005/6 to 24% has also been met. Since 2008, more than 85% of the targets have been met or exceeded, while the implementation rate of policy actions has been 96%.
Where energy and ICTs are concerned, the report notes that improved service delivery had been made possible with ICT based solutions.
It stated: “With the strong focus of the country on transforming into a middle income country in Vision 2020 with ICT at the forefront, it is no surprise that some of the successes in service delivery and investment climate reforms have centred around ICT solutions. These have included online registration of businesses, online filing of tax claims, a rapidly evolving financial sector which embracing new and innovative IT products as well as an electronic immigration service, driving license application to name but a few. These offer important opportunities for integrating other sectors such as agriculture and for bridging the urban-rural divide.”
It added that the ICT sector has continued to register remarkable progress particularly in voice penetration. The ICT penetration rate in voice (subscriber) has moved from 26% in 2009/10 to 38.4% in 2010/11 against the set target of 36% for 2010/11. The end target is 49%.