Rwanda has set out its expectations for the management of aid in support of development goals that incorporate elements of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The GoR’s preference is for aid to be provided as Direct Budget Support (BS) followed by Sector Budget Support (SBS). Development partners are expected to align aid with government priorities.
The Government has undertaken a number of reforms and other initiatives including revamping the public financial system so that it complies with international good practice enabling DPs to have confidence in using its systems. It was one of the two top performers in the review of progress to achieving its Paris Declaration targets in the 2011 review ahead of the Busan meeting (OECD, 2011b). Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) agreements have been signed with DPs in seven sectors. A division of labour agreed to ensure that development aid meets the needs of all sectors and to reduce transaction costs and fragmentation. A review found that SWAps had a positive impact on DPs’ coordination, harmonisation and alignment as well as strengthening strategic dialogue. The establishment of a Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) in each ministry should reduce the costs of aid delivery and give the Government greater ownership. The Project Treasury Single Account (PTSA) will facilitate the provision of timely information on ODA flows.
The fragility of the relationship with DPs and the issues surrounding aid conditionality are evidenced in Rwanda by the reaction of some DPs to the publication of UN Expert Group report in June 2012 on Rwanda’s supposed support for rebels in the DRC, which Rwanda denies. The publication led to a number of DPs, including the USA, the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands, delaying or suspending some aid payments thus reducing the GoR’s ability to deliver its development strategy.
One of the main priority's is to build the partnership for development between the Government and the DPs so that there is mutual accountability and more ODA committed to the SWAp.
Target 8B: Provide access to essential drugs and make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications
Access to affordable drugs is essential for maintaining health, enabling people to be productive and alleviating suffering. The increased availability of generic drugs, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in developing countries and agreements to permit drugs to be manufactured for sale at a lower price in developing countries have made essential drugs more affordable. Antiretroviral treatment is available for all HIV-positive individuals in Rwanda who meet the criteria for treatment, although not all those eligible do access treatment. Other essential drugs are available through the mutual health insurance scheme. 65 per cent of the population is covered by the scheme and is therefore entitled to medicines, as is the additional four per cent of people covered by other health insurance schemes. This leaves about 30 per cent of the population without access to essential medicines (pregnant women have access as of right); mainly, some of this population is unable to afford to pay for health coverage.
In terms of access to telephones, computers and the internet, Rwanda has developed an integrated ICT policy with a clear vision of making ICT a critical part of its socio-economic development plan. The vision is to move from an agrarian base to a knowledge economy by 2020. However, despite strong political commitment, Rwanda faces major challenges in implementing its vision, including the lack of a skilled workforce.
In 2010/11 45 per cent of households had at least one mobile ‘phone compared with six per cent in 2005/6. However, only 1.7 per cent of households own a computer. Households in urban areas and especially in the City of Kigali are much more likely to have a mobile phone than those in rural areas, 80 per cent in the City of Kigali and 72 per cent in urban areas compared with 41 per cent in rural areas. However, a slightly higher proportion of households have internet access, 16 per cent in urban areas and two per cent in rural areas.
There has been significant increase in the infrastructure, including the National Broadband Backbone for the internet, but access remains low and there is a growing divide between a small minority who are information-rich and the vast majority who are information-poor.
One of the main bottlenecks is a lack of clear broadband policy and lack of adequate consideration of the infrastructure and investment needs.
The main priorities are to extend ICT to rural areas and developing awareness of the uses and benefits of the technologies, to drive the cost of mobile phone and internet services down as well as to expand the once-computer- a- child project. Another main priority is to train small enterprises in the use of mobile phone and computers in their income generating activities.
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