By Elias Hakizimana.
As Rwanda launched the budget 2018/19, Rwanda Development Organization (RDO), one of the civil society organisations working in Rwanda, has said it has realised that there is an improvement in the country’s journey to finance its own budget, a development that deserves celebration.
RDO appreciates the tremendous increase of the national budget and domestic performance since three years ago (2015-2018) where imports for instance got an increase of 5.6 percent.
The current fiscal year budget 2018/19 which is $2.8 billion (over $2,443 billion) is bigger than the previous one of 2017/18 of over $2,094 billion.
“We are reducing tremendously the dependency of external financing,” said RDO official, Alexis Nkurunziza.
Eugene Rwibasira, RDO-Executive Secretary said that it is a real time to celebrate the national budget that got an increase of 17% from 0% in 1994.
“Why can’t we celebrate with the 17% increase from zero in 1994? Today with such $2.8 billion budget, poverty levels have reduced from 51% to 0ver 30 percent, why can’t we celebrate again? Rwanda has got a tremendous improvement in infrastructures and fastest growing economy. This is different from the past where people understood Genocide when you say Rwanda, today when you say Rwanda people understand the cleanest city Kigali, the strongest man Kagame,” said Rwibasira.
He added “we are celebrating that we have come from hell to the ever good place where we feel proud to be said by others. We should not that celebrating the budget is not only saying the figures, but what the figures helped to achieve,”
RDO has come the first Civil society to celebrate the budget countrywide and wishes to continue doing it every year.
“I wish to see this culture of celebrating the budget sustainable, remembering every year where we have come from and where we are heading to,” Rwibasira noted.
In their mandate, RDO through voice for change project wanted to see the budget in fighting stunting and when a citizen achieved a lot, he/she must celebrate,” he said.
“One of our targets is to increase budget in nutrition sensitive and the budget of fighting stunting also increased,” Rwibasira said.
Currently, stunting stands around 36 percent from over 50 percent in the past. The country targets to reduce it at 15% by 2024.
RDO and other civil society organisations contribute to the budget call circular, sharing their ideas for government concern in planning and implementing the budget.
Elias Hakizimana @theinspirerpubl
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