President Kagame singles out Africa Governance Initiative for praise at global forum on aid effectivenessWednesday, Nov 30, 2011 in Africa Governance Initiative
AGI's Steve Haines said: "Time and again, the Government of Rwanda has proved that, when delivered properly, development assistance can help transform a country and ultimately, create prosperity. It's a real privilege for the Africa Governance Initiative to play a part in making that happen. From the very beginning, AGI has been about helping African governments deliver for their citizens and that's what we will continue to do here in Rwanda."
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda today singled out the work of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) as a model of aid effectiveness, during his speech to the world's biggest forum for the developed and developing worlds to discuss how to make aid work.
President Kagame's comments came as over 2,500 development policymakers and practitioners, including over 100 Government ministers, gathered in Busan, South Korea for the first day of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.
During his speech, the President pointed to the unfulfilled promises of previous High Level Forums, which had pledged to deliver aid in a way that would put developing countries in the driving seat. Addressing the opening session, the President of Rwanda said:
"In Paris we committed, and reaffirmed in Accra, to channel aid through country systems so as to strengthen national capacity to execute development plans, to budget efficiently and deliver services. It was also meant to build the foundation for enhanced capacity and accountability towards development results. In practice, the status quo still prevails."
The President went on to say that the work of the Africa Governance Initiative, which has been working closely with the government of Rwanda since 2007, is challenging that status quo. He told the High Level Forum:
"While donors may not be entirely to blame for bypassing these systems where they are weak, or non-functional, why not use aid to build up and strengthen such critical systems? A case in point is the partnership between Rwanda's government and Mr Tony Blair's African Governance Initiative, which uses embedded support to balance fast implementation of development programmes and transfer of skills."
The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative has been working with the Government of Rwanda since 2007. A small team of advisors work alongside the Government of Rwanda based in the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the Rwanda Development Board and the Capacity Building Secretariat. The team work with the Government to improve policy making, priority setting and delivery of Government Programmes.
Steve Haines, who leads AGI's work with the Government of Rwanda, responded to President Kagame's comments at the High Level Forum and spoke of the team's future plans:
"Time and again, the Government of Rwanda has proved that, when delivered properly, development assistance can help transform a country and ultimately, create prosperity. It's a real privilege for the Africa Governance Initiative to play a part in making that happen. From the very beginning, AGI has been about helping African governments deliver for their citizens and that's what we will continue to do here in Rwanda.
"The AGI team will support President Kagame and the Government of Rwanda to deliver the Strategic Capacity Building Initiative, which will train the next generation of Rwandan public servants, while improving the delivery of Government priorities in areas such as increasing access to electricity and boosting crop production."
Tony Blair said:
"I'm extremely proud of my excellent team who are working side by side with their Rwandan counterparts to build the capacity to deliver on the priorities of the Rwandan people such as health, education, technology and building infrastructure in this great country."