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Friday, 12 November 2010

Senior EC official cautions on infrastructure gap

A senior official from the European Commission (EC) has commended the country for effectively utilizing resources from development partners to promote economic development.    In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times on Friday, Koos Richelle , the EC Director General for EuropeAid  Co-operation Office, recognized  implementation of sound public financial  management systems and efforts in  combating corruption, as indicators of government efforts to promote aid effectiveness. “There is general appreciation from the donors for what Rwanda has done – you can see it (improvements) on the streets and lives,” Richelle said. Richelle who  is also the co- chair of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) working party on aid effectiveness,   was in the country to attend the two day 9th government and development partners meeting that ended Friday. According to the official, the ownership and leadership of government in promoting aid effectiveness are recognized globally.  “We are now in the process of answering questions / demands from the government to really do what the donors have promised – to streamline, respect the ownership of the government and to have more money flow to budgets instead of donors arranging that for themselves.”. In the Financial Year 2009/2010, 41 percent of Rwanda’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) was disbursed in the form of budget support which is the government’s preferred modality for external assistance.“We have to give compliments to the government because what has been done has not been realized by the donors.,” said Richelle.However, the official noted that government will have to deal with the huge infrastructure gap to attract private investment which is much needed to help the country sustain economic growth and meet the Millennium Development Goals.“There is not enough infrastructures and it is very difficult to borrow money. There are not so many people who want to take risks,” Richelle said. “The level of skills is not always available   because everybody is focused on basic or general education and not enough of vocational information and training- these are impediments for attracting private investment.” The theme for this year’s development partner’s meeting was ‘Effective Aid to leverage Private Investments and meet the Millennium Development Goals.”

Source:  newtimes.com