The New Times (Kigali)

Burundi: Delegation Tipped On Aid and Decentralisation

Developing countries should develop policies that will help their governments guide donors to work towards addressing the needs of citizens, the Local Government Minister, James Musoni has said.

He made the remarks on Friday, while addressing a visiting delegation from Burundi to learn about the progress the country has made since the establishment of the decentralisation policy.

"We have the aid policy, that enables us to work very well with donors and if they have to support us, it is through the sector budget support," he said.

His remarks came shortly after Paplen Ruhotora, the head of the delegation expressed concern about donors' interest to support the government, which he said sometimes conflict with that of the government's development policy.

Musoni also called for transparency when dealing with or using donor funds, saying that this will create trust.

"When donors realise that you are turning down their requests for the right cause, they will come to believe you and have respect for your decisions," he said.

Ruhotora said that what they learnt from the visit will help them play a crucial role in the decentralisation process their country is set to implement.

"Currently, we have 129 districts and 17 provinces. This is seriously affecting our progress and development as distribution of funds to cater for development projects in all these independent administrative units is a big challenge," said Ruhotora.

He added: "We realised that in these two districts, governance and the way they carry out their activities is similar. I am sure that if we also come up with similar mechanisms, we shall be able to attain what has been achieved here," he said.

Egide Rugamba, the Director General of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation at the Local government Ministry (MINALOC) , advised that to make the decentralisation policy successful, there must be political will.

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