The Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente has revealed that Rwandans were able to implement the National Strategy for Transformation (NST 1) despite unanticipated setbacks.
Ngirente was on January 23, 2023 presenting the outcomes at the ongoing 2024 National Umushyikirano Council, which also coincides with the closure of the NST1 strategy 2017-2024.
Ngirente stated that “many target areas were well implemented despite the global challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change and disasters however this didn’t stop us from performing”.
Ngirente noted that there are few remaining areas to address but the plan is to reach the set targets 100% especially that most of the national dialogue concerns raised last year have been implemented by over 91%.
Figures in the PM’s report show substantial improvements made from the social, economic, health, education and infrastructure sectors.
In Economy, the report showed that economy has grown 6.9% since 2017 and full recovery coming above 7% in the next financial year after COVID-19 hit the performance to -3.4%.
The report shows that taxes double which has had an impact on the national budget doubling since 2017.
Ngirente said that in order to cope with the effects of the rise of international market prices, Government launched the Nkunganire fertilizer program (increased the amount of funding), on petroleum products and public transportation among others.
In Transport, Ngirente said the government added 100 more buses of the 200 purchased already and they are now in operation against the target of reaching 340 to be bought.
Ngirente revealed that more 100 buses are expected in February and another 140 buses have been ordered to reduce the issues around transportation.
“This program started in Kigali but will be extended to the provinces,” he said.
Commenting on the economy, Finance Minister Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said that there is hope for the economy recovery with the establishment of a recovery fund ($300million) and the debt burden status of the country, which was lower before the pandemic, has remained contained.
In Agriculture, the PM said that Nkunganire program has increased access to fertilizers from 38kgs/ per hectare to 70.3kgs per hectares which is above the usage of other countries in the Sub Saharan region which is at 25kgs/year while globally others have reached 150kgs/ha.
“The plan is to increase the productivity by increasing fertilisers and we have a fertilizer blending plant in Bugesera district (with 100,000ton capacity) which will help us to produce more,” he said
In the seed sector, the PM revealed that as committed in the previous resolutions, Rwanda no longer imports seeds and all seeds availed locally as of today, and the funds (Rwf4-8billion used in imports) is instead used in supporting seed multipliers.
Terraces: Over 1.1million progressive terraces have been constructed and irrigable land increased, while irrigable land has been increased from over 48.000ha in 2017 to over 71.000ha,
The report also showed that milk production has moved from 700,000 litres in 2017 to over 1million litres of milk, with a plan to complete a new powder milk processing plant (with 650.000lts capacity) in Nyagatare district.
Insurance in agriculture and livestock has government subsidies and 30% insured by government.
According to the ministry of agriculture, Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri, there has been progress and 78% of Rwandans are now food secure (from 28% in 2006 during the first dialogue), many Rwandans consume milk at least 20lts per year and now consume 78lts per year.
“Compared to the region, Kenya leads, while Uganda has 37ltrs/year; Tanzania has reached 47lts/year, and the rest of the neigbours in the south- they dont have the figures,” Musafiri said.
Infrastructure: In order to continue processing of improved infrastructure to help in facilitating transportation, the report said the over 1.600kms have been constructed especially on the Base-RukomoNyagatare, Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo, Ngoma-Bugesera-Nyanza, Huye-Kibeho na Pindura- Bweyeye road;
This adds to new road in Kigali (237kms), paved roads built to connect the Districts and 3.700kms of feeder roads (of the 3,000 planned) and 2.160kms of of street lights have been installed.
On Water and Electricity access where Rwanda planned 100% access by 2024, the report showed that the number increased from 34 % to 74% of added to the network, while water has seen seven plants constructed (Nzove Kanzenze,
Gihira, Kanyonyomba, Mwoya, Nkombo and Nyankora) to double the access above the 333,000 cubic meters against the target of 303.000 cubic meters.
In technology as a tool towards becoming a middle income economy, the report showed that the government increased fibre optic coverage from 3,300kms in 2017 to over 15.700 as of this year in addirition to 680 tech based services
In job creation, government had set a target to create 1.5million jobs annually, but as of now it has managed to 1.1million annually.
In Aviation transport: Ngirente said that the government has invested in opening new routes and adding new cargo services which has increased the number of tourists 521,000 to 1.4million as of September last year.
“More investments will be made in Rwandair and increase its capacity” he said. But also noted that there is plan to increase Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) programs,” Ngirente said.
Education: The report shows that efforts in reducing time traveled to school and congestion in classes has reduced from 80 pupils/ classroom to 55 per classroom and the teacher to student ratio reduced from 1.62 in 2017 to 1.57 in 2024.
This was as a result of the government and in collaboration citizens engagement in Umuganda activities managed to construct over 27,000 classrooms to reach over 76,000 classrooms as of last year.
At the same time, the teachers salaries increased by 88% in primary and 40% for secondary school teachers and the School feeding program has also been implemented in all schools to an extent that all children feed at school and more former drop outs returned to school.
Health: Since 2017 there are 6 new hospitals constructed in Gatunda, Gatonde, Munini, Nyabikenke, Byumba and Nyarugenge adding to 52 hospitals in country in 2017; 12 Health centers adding 495 existing ones; Health posts increased from 473 to 1.252 health posts.
This according to Ngirente has impacted on maternity services at health facilities by 93% and intend to reach 100% soon but also has reduced malaria deaths from 427 to 35 as of 2023 and the plan is to reach zero.
Minister of Health, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana explained that that there was no one sent abroad for kidney transplants and 14 cases were handled locally, with 4 more cases to be worked on this year.
Most cases of Rwandans referred abroad for treatment are of Kidney transfers,heart diseases, and cancer treatment; but Dr. Nsanzimana said that the remaining issue is cancer treatment but
Nsanzimana also said that ten district hospitals have been elevated to teaching hospital level to reduce the distance traveled to major hospitals, increase in number of medics has seen 1000 more nurses this year.
In Poverty reduction, the report showed that 190,000 cows given to poor families adding to 200,000 given to the vulnerable communities.
Way forward: Ngirente said that the focus will be on increased agriculture production, increase youth jobs and industry in number and products but also infrastructure needed.