The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Rwanda signed a US$ 3.7 Million—approximately Frw 2.5 Billion grant to support Strategic Capacity Building Initiative (SCBI), the flagship development program for strengthening government institutions.
Speaking after the signing event on December 18, 2013 Howard G. Buffet, chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffet Foundation acknowledged that Rwanda’s development successes can be attributed to its aid effectiveness and its investments in government and institutions.
Buffet also noted that building a country was a long term undertaking that cannot cheat your way out but where investing in people and ideas is very crucial.
“If Western donors truly want to support African-led development, and bring an end to Africa’s reliance on outside aid, it’s critical that donors fulfill their commitments for important efforts like SCBI.
Withholding aid to make a short-term political statement only hurts millions of everyday Rwandans in the long-term.” Buffet observed.
The SCBI aims to improve the Rwandan Government’s ability to deliver concrete results in four priority areas it has identified as key to supporting economic growth and reducing poverty such as energy, agriculture, mining and investiment.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete noted that building capacities has been one of the government’s top priorities.
The Minister noted that with a vision to transform the country into knowledge and service based economy, the government had to invest massively in capacity building which focused not only on formal education but also technical and vocational training.
“We realized the economy needed balanced skills both formal and technical to depend less on outsourcing,” Minister Gatete said. The Minister further observed that the Productivity and youth employment pillar under the EDPRS 2 required heavily relied on capacity building.
The SCBI will support government efforts to achieve specific development targets by 2015 to grow the agriculture sector by 8.5% a year; to more than double from the current 17% the number of households receiving electricity; to increase mineral exports to USD$275 million; and to boost private sector investment to 13% of GDP.
Launched in 2011, the SCBI is designed so that the Government of Rwanda assumes ownership over its own development, a central goal of the Paris and Accra Agenda on Aid Effectiveness agreed to by the donor community and aid recipients.
The SCBI, not development partners, identifies, takes ownership over, and manages the country’s economic development priorities.
The Initiative establishes a strong link between capacity building and practical delivery, with international experts and Rwandan counterparts working side by side to deliver the President’s priorities.