10 December 2012

Rwanda: Home Grown Solutions Is the Way to Go


DEVELOPMENT discourse has long underscored the importance of home grown solutions and national ownership of development policies. This school of thought has been echoed by President Paul Kagame over the years. He re-echoed the same view in a speech to members of the private sector in a dialogue known as Presidential Investors Round Table on Saturday in Kigali.

Kagame said that 'providing for ourselves is a foundation of our dignity.

We haven't started using Agaciro Fund, but if it starts the benefits will be immense'. Agaciro fund, the latest home grown initiative, seeks to voluntarily mobilise resources from Rwandans at home and abroad, to supplement existing revenues so as to accelerate national development.

The fund has so fair grossed close to Rwf30 billion.

Kagame's remarks come against a back drop of several initiatives of home grown solutions that have set the country on a clear growth path over the last 18 years.

Gacaca, Hang'Umurimo, Umuganda and Imihigo are other examples of home grown solutions that have spurred the country's development as well as helped improve the welfare of the Rwanda people.

Through the Imihigo, leaders from all levels of government in consultation with the people have set out priorities and annual targets upon which their performance is are evaluated.

After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda resorted to traditional conflict resolution mechanisms - Gacaca. This profoundly impacted on reconciliation in Rwanda. And Hang'Umurimo programme has already benefited the youth immensely. The programme is on course to meet its objective of creating more than 200,000 off farm jobs annually.

These among other local initiatives give a clear indication that home grown solutions if well thought out can be a magic bullet to poverty reduction in the developing countries.

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