Good politics, prerequisite for inclusive sustainable development-Kagame
President Paul Kagame has said that ‘good’ politics is a pre-condition for achieving durable development.
While addressing the first gathering to launch the Development Goals Center for Africa at Radisson Blu and Kigali Convention Center today, Kagame said that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an opportunity to highlight importance of good politics as prerequisite for inclusive and sustainable development.
Globally, 836 million people still live in biting poverty. About one in five persons in developing countries particularly in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan regions lives on less than $1.25 on a daily basis.
Ending poverty is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The head of state said that collaboration and engaging the private sector are key to reducing poverty.
Kagame, who is the founding chair of Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, added that for Rwanda, a participatory approach has been indispensable to the modest progress achieved.
Still, the cooperation between the government and other stakeholders as well as the citizens’ participation bore fruits. Through various development-oriented initiatives put in place by the government such as Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), Ubudehe, One cow per poor family locally known as “Girinka” among others have lifted more one million Rwandans out of poverty.
He also said that all actions undertaken in all and sundry country should impact the lives of the ordinary citizen, adding that everyone’s contribution turns out to be of paramount importance.
“We all have a role to play and what is really important is cooperation, working closely together to make progress,” Kagame said.
The SDGs agenda comprises 17 goals including end poverty, achieve food security and improved nutrition, ensure healthy lives for all; ensure education for all; achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls among others.
Rwanda is one of few African countries that met some targets of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before its deadline on September 2015. In 2000 when the MDGs agenda was announced, Rwanda’s poverty levels stood at 60.4 percent; this saw however a downward trend to 44.9 percent by 2011 with 24 percent in extreme poverty.
But government projected to 30 percent under extreme poverty by 2018. In the health sector, Rwanda also fared well whereby it’s among very few African countries with universal medical insurance. Its infant mortality fell to 32 /1000 newborns in 2014-2015 from 48.6 / 1000 babies and maternal mortality saw a downward spiral to 210/100,000 mothers from 476/100,000 in 2012 according to 2014-2015 DHS.
On education, thanks to the significant efforts made over the last decade by the Government of Rwanda is one of the top-performing countries in sub-Saharan Africa in education, having achieved Millennium Development Goal (MDG) with 97 per cent of universal primary education enrolment compared to 72.6 per cent in 2000.
The SDGs Africa center unveiled today in the Capital Kigali is due to facilitate the execution of core responsibilities including advocacy and coordination.