Liberia and Rwanda Praised for Efforts to Meet MDG Targets
With only 1,000 days to go before the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline, participants at a high-level seminar organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) have commended Rwanda and Liberia for their efforts to meet the MDG targets.
The seminar on “Resources for Accelerated Transformation and Results: the 2013 Data Report,” rallied ministers and financial experts from the private sector to share the latest analysis of each countries’ progress.
The report shed light on Rwanda and Liberia for their recent achievements.
In terms of government spending on education, agriculture and health, while 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made progress in the last three years, 16 pf them are on their way to extreme poverty.
Liberia’s finance minister, Amara Konneh, explained that his country managed to stabilize “by focusing on enhancing our security, investing in development by providing basic promises that were lacking for more than a decade and also on governance.”
Mr. Konneh laid emphasis on political will as the primary condition for success. “We have launched a transparent budget, meaning we report to the people on how much our country is generating to show how the government is spending.” Liberia’s government also claims to pay particular attention to the protection of its investment and development.
According to Rwanda’s finance minister, Claver Gatete, a performance contract signed by every mayor, governor and ministers serves as a guarantee that the government meets the basic needs of the population.
“If you are President Kagame’s employee, you won’t survive if you do not implement” the government’s development activities. The different models that the Rwandese government has put in place have reduced poverty from 36% to 24%.
He explained that ensuring people’s ownership is the only way to involve a community and give them responsibilities. “It does not matter how much money you put in, it’s how the money is used. Involving the population is crucial for lasting results.”
From a private sector point of view, Paulo Gomes, a former director at the World Bank explained that “Some major improvement in your investment climate can really boost your growth in the country and essentially, there is a lot of things you can do for the fragile states.” The general feel is that if one country is progressing, it will affect their neighbor and create a snowball effect.
In his presentation, the head of the Bank’s resource mobilizing unit, Benoit Chevalier, said that Africa has changed and is now ranked “as the 2nd most dynamic region in the world after Asia,.”
However, poverty is still on the prowl as 19 of the continent’s 54 countries are categorized as fragile states that require support. “We need to create more inclusive and sustainable growth across geography, age and gender,” he said.