Decatur, Illinois — Buffett Cites Withholding of Donor Aid, Rwanda's Track Record as Key Motivations for Grant
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation today announced its support for the Government of Rwanda's Strategic Capacity Building Initiative (SCBI), their flagship development program for strengthening government institutions. The Foundation will provide USD$3.7 million to close a funding gap left by other donors who previously withdrew aid from Rwanda.
"Rwanda's development successes can be attributed to its aid effectiveness and its investments in government and institutions," said Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. "If Western donors truly want to support African-led development, and bring an end to Africa's reliance on outside aid, it's critical they support important efforts like SCBI. Withholding aid to make a short-term political statement only hurts millions of everyday Rwandans in the long-term."
The SCBI aims to improve the Rwandan Government's ability to deliver concrete results in four priority areas it has identified as key to supporting economic growth and reducing poverty:
Diversifying and increasing electricity generation and supply;
Increasing agricultural production and exports;
Increasing revenue and jobs from mining;
Improving the environment for private sector investment.
The SCBI will support government efforts to achieve specific development targets by 2015 to grow the agriculture sector by 8.5% a year; to more than double from the current 17% the number of households receiving electricity; to increase mineral exports to USD$275 million; and to boost private sector investment to 13% of GDP.
"The contribution of Mr. Howard G. Buffett to our Strategic Capacity Building Initiative will play an important role in the acceleration of Rwanda's ongoing economic development," said Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning for the Government of Rwanda. "In the past five years, Rwanda has sustained economic growth of over 7% and lifted one million people out of poverty. We thank Mr. Buffett for a mutually beneficial partnership that will create sustainable institutional capacity that will in turn deliver the progress the people Rwanda deserve."
Launched in 2011, the SCBI is designed so that the Government of Rwanda assumes ownership over its own development, a central goal of the Paris and Accra Agenda on Aid Effectiveness agreed to by the donor community and aid recipients. The SCBI, not development partners, identifies, takes ownership over, and manages the country's economic development priorities. The Initiative establishes a strong link between capacity building and practical delivery, with international experts and Rwandan counterparts working side by side to deliver the President's priorities.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation's funding will allow the SCBI to expand over the next year and build on its promising early results.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation works to improve the quality of life for the world's most impoverished and marginalized populations - including the nearly one billion men, women, and children who lack basic food security. 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World chronicles Chairman and CEO Howard G. Buffett's evolving views on combating hunger and poverty. For more information, visit www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org and www.40Chances.com.