The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Northern Province Embraces Vision 2020 National Adjustments

Authorities in Northern Province on Thursday held a consultative meeting to adjust the region's Vision 2020 blueprint's targets after government revised it in May 2012.

The reasons behind the adjustments at the national level involve the need to align targets to new middle income country status whose indicators have changed from an average GDP per capita of $900 to $1200, inclusion of new indicators and targets for climate change, governance, ICT and regional integration. Others include harmonisation with the seven year Government Plan (7YGP) targets which are more ambitious in some cases.

The other reason is that some indicators are either irrelevant or outdated - given the country's ambitions. Some targets were achieved during the first year yet they were meant for five years. For example, the national average GDP growth rate in 2000 when the Vision 2020 blueprint began to be implemented was 6.2pc while the blueprint's target was 8pc. However, by the end of 2010, it stood at 8.3pc. The new more ambitious target is 11.5pc.

This is partly because different ministries set priorities for districts without ample facilitation to conduct situation analyses for proper planning. Each district now has an experienced consultant.

This transpired during a two-day meeting organised by Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, through the province to align District Development Plans (DDPs) with Sector Strategic Plan (SSP), held at Muhabura hotel in Muhanga town. The meeting which ended yesterday attracted representatives from all districts in the province as well as sector ministries, among others.

In his opening remarks, the provincial governor, Aimé Bosenibamwe, challenged those involved in planning to focus on an individual citizen with the district as the drawing board as well as ensuring harmony between strategic planning phases.

"This second phase of EDPRS II (Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy II) should build on the EDPRS I and the two must draw from the DDP as a channel for planning in local government that will improve the individual citizen."

According to Provincial consultant, Etienne Ndimukanga, the rapid positive economic changes are attributed to the free nine year basic education that availed funds to parents to invest in productive ventures. He added that the prevailing peace and rapid reconciliation in the country had also encouraged people to devote time to productive ventures, thereby downplaying the speculative uncertainties the future may hold.

He noted that districts needed more orientation on aligning their priorities with national and regional priorities, which is a new development.

Under the new arrangement, ministries will not set priorities for districts. Rather, the latter will come up with their own priorities subject to ministerial approval.

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