Saturday, 22 June 2013

UK envoy commends Rwanda on aid use


High Commissioner Jones and Amb. Gatete during Queen Elizabeth’s birthday on Thursday.
The British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Benedict Llewellyn Jones has said that he was impressed by the government’s efficiency and effectiveness in the use of development aid.

He made the remarks on Thursday evening during the reception to mark the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, at his residence in Kigali. 

The UK’s assistance to Rwanda totals up to £50 million (about Rwf51 billion) annually, and until last year, at least 80 per cent of it was channeled through direct budget support.

The assistance from Britain is channeled through the Department for International Development (DfID).

“I take a note of Rwanda’s continuing effective use of our development assistance. I have had more opportunities myself this year to leave Kigali and go to rural areas to ascertain how the community is benefitting,” said Llewellyn Jones.

“I am proud of the assistance we give, the people it supports and the positive impact it is having. We hope that in turn our presidency of the G8, with our agenda to support trade and transparency can help all African states including Rwanda.”

The envoy also emphasised the growing relationship between Rwanda and his country, which he described as ‘impressive breadth of the relationship’.

The High Commissioner’s remark follows, the British Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening’s impression on Rwanda.

Greening, who was in the country two days ago to assess the impact of the UK’s development assistance to Rwanda met with senior government officials including President Paul Kagame.

The British minister was impressed by positive changes taking place and pledged to continue working together with Rwanda in terms of development support.

The queen’s birthday is celebrated twice a year - privately on April 21, her actual birthday, and an official national celebration in June. Queen Elizabeth is 87 years old this year and has reigned for 58 years. 

 The event brought together government officials, diplomats and members of the business community.

At the event, Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, extended government’s congratulatory message to the queen, who is also the titular head of the Commonwealth Club of nations, to which Rwanda subscribes.

“Our country appreciates the strong bilateral relations we have with the UK. We also value highly the development assistance we get from Britain,” he said.

Gatete highlighted Rwanda’s steady economic growth that has seen poverty levels drastically reduced in the past five years.

He, however, pointed out that the relationship between the two countries has been characterized by ups and downs but the countries have learnt together and bounced back in a good way.

 Rwanda is widely credited for its efficient use of development aid and UK is its single largest bilateral donor. The biggest portion of British aid is channeled through the government’s general budget.

The country has also been applauded for its efforts to implement a series of reforms to boost aid effectiveness in various forms.


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