Kigali — Today in Parliament, President Paul Kagame presided over the launch of the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) as well as the signing of the central and local government performance contracts (Imihigo) that will implement the first year of the EDPRS 2 targets.
The launch of second phase of EDPRS comes after successful implementation of EDPRS1 which registered impressive results such as lifting more than one million people out of poverty between 2008 and 2012 and reducing extreme poverty from 37% to 24% in the same period, while at the same time sustaining average GDP growth of 8.2% annually.
Speaking at the launch, President Paul Kagame pointed out that EDPRS1 has given Rwandans confidence that they can achieve the goals they set as a nation which means they had the potential to achieve even more.
"The impact of EDPRS must be felt by all Rwandans. Every franc invested by the public treasury and the private sector should earn more in terms of impact on people's livelihoods," said President Kagame.
He urged all Rwandans to get involved in the implementation of EDPRS2, particularly asking the private sector to play a more active role in the success of the various EDPRS2 programs, setting ambitious goals for themselves.
"In EDPRS2 we are aiming at double digit growth of 11.5% and reducing poverty levels by at least 15% (from 45% to fewer than 30%) over the next five years," he said.
"Achieving this means putting more emphasis on self-reliance, which in turn means increasing productivity at every level - individual Rwandans and the private sector, taking full ownership of the strategy and working in a more coordinated manner," said President Kagame.
In his speech, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, said that EDPRS2 was conceived on the ideas of Rwandans who were willing to be part of the process of change and development.
"EDPRS2 is a product of inputs and contributions from thousands of Rwandans of different walks of life and a strategy based on our vision to become a middle income country where economic development benefits all Rwandans and particularly the poor," Minister Gatete added.
EDPRS2 has been developed around four thematic areas which are economic transformation, rural development productivity and youth employment and accountable governance.
For Rwanda to achieve double digit growth, private investments needs to increase from the current 10% to 15.4% of GDP by 2018 and also increase average growth of exports of 28% by focusing on value addition and service industry.
In addition, infrastructure for growth such as energy and transport will ensure that during the EDPRS2 duration, energy generation will increase to 600 Megawatts to meet the demand for growth.
In a related development, the Prime Minister Dr. Habumuremyi Pierre Damien outlined how the Government achieved its performance contract for 2012-2013.
"If we consider our previous two financial years (2011/2012, 2012-2013) we realize that performance at Ministerial levels increased from 81% to 90.96% this year, Embassies improved from 73% to 78.2% whereas Districts moved from 89,1% to 94% respectively," said the Prime Minister.
Talking about Imihigo, President Kagame said that it's the main tool to implement EDPRS2.
"Imihigo is a solution originating from our culture that we have chosen to implement for the benefit of every Rwandan. We must continue in striving to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and remain accountable. However, I congratulate whoever played their role to make it happen and wish you continued determination and hard work," he concluded.
For fiscal year, 2012-2013, Kamonyi, Karongi and Kicukiro districts were the top performing districts, taking home trophies awarded by President Kagame.