Rwanda’s Development Progress
In Rwanda, socio-economic development initiatives are implemented in the framework of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) 2008-2012, a mid-term strategic planning tool that provides the overall framework for achieving the country’s long term development goals embodied in Rwanda’s Vision 2020.
The EDPRS constitutes the “national roadmap” to reach long-term development targets through short-/medium-term policy reforms and budget reorganisation. By setting development priorities, allocating resources and clearly defining responsibility lines, the EDPRS is the fundamental instrument through which the Government can fulfil its commitments and make substantial contribution towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country.
It is important to highlight that the contextualisation of the MDG agenda into local development processes is a key element of all development initiatives in Rwanda and great effort has been made to put in place a conducive policy environment to ensure consistency and integration of both processes.
The EDPRS 2008-2012 planned for substantial increase of resource allocation into the MDG sectors, particularly education (MDG 2) and health (MDGs 4-5-6). Key objectives related to economic development and good governance were also addressed, with a specific attention to the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Already in its fourth year of implementation, the EDPRS has reached most of its key goals. A self-assessment exercise conducted in 2011 in all sectors both at the central and district level showed that more than 85% of the EDPRS targets have been met and 485 out of 504 policy actions have been fully implemented. Such a high implementation rate (96%) has led to impressive results in the diverse EDPRS areas of intervention. In particular, the EDPRS overall objective to reduce the share of the population living in poverty from 56.9% in 2005/2006 to 46% in 2012/2013 has already been met one year before the end of the strategy’s implementation, with 44.9% of the population living under the poverty line in 2011. Likewise, the EDPRS extreme poverty target of 24% has almost been reached with a rate of 24.1% in 2011.