Rwanda: EDPRS II should target inclusive growth – experts
As government gathers ideas for the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), experts say the policy should focus on inclusive growth.
Antonia Mutoro, the Executive Director of Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR), says that the involvement of stakeholders in the elaboration process would help in the implementation of underlying policies that would indicate development priorities.
“The idea is to bring all stakeholders from the grassroots to determine what should be made a priority,” she said during a deliberative forum on EDPRS II in Kigali.
EDPRS is a medium term strategy for economic growth, poverty reduction and human development. The first phase runs from 2008 to 2012.
The key pillars of the EDPRS II include rural development, productivity, youth employment and accountable governance.
Mutoro is optimistic that involving people from the grassroots level would generate ideas that are likely to drive the country’s development in the next five years.
“The government has been doing a lot of collaboration with donors and other stakeholders but we felt we should contribute first of all as a think tank but also as experts who conduct research,” she said
Experts say that in order to promote inclusive growth, government should focus on upgrading agriculture from subsistence to mechanised farming with proper land use and agro-processing among others.
The EDPRS registered positive results with at least one million Rwandans lifted out of poverty in the last five years (from 2005/2006 to 2010/2011).
The third Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV 3) and Demographic Health Survey (DHS 2010) show that the country took strides towards the improvement of conditions and poverty reduction scaled by good economic growth performance.
Nevertheless, there are areas where poverty still looms, an indicator that the EDPRS II if well implemented with all inclusive decisions would address the challenges.
“We need to divert resources to these areas with a view to eradicating poverty completely not only in these areas but in the whole country,” John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance said recently.
More focus will be put into increasing exports, growing agriculture and improving competitiveness especially of local firms.
”This will require the government to be keen in implementing these policies. We will be more resolute to attract and facilitate investment in Rwanda which should result into ease in doing business and addressing infrastructure bottlenecks.”
By Dias Nyesiga, The New Times
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