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Rwanda Unveils Ambitious Three Year Development Plan, Reports KT Press

KIGALI, Rwanda, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rwanda's new Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, has unveiled the new three-year development plan.

In a televised address on August 4, he promised that 70% of Rwandan households will have access to electricity within 36 months (only 21% have access today).

The plan also guarantees clean water to all Rwandan households, a major boost from the current figure of 20%.

Murekezi's also plans to cut down poverty levels from current 45% to 30%.

It took the government about 5 years (2007 - 2012) to uplift some 1.2 million Rwandans out of extreme poverty.

Dr. Alfred R. Bizoza, Senior Lecturer of Agricultural Economics at the University of Rwanda says the plan can work if there is significant investment in more income generating sectors such as the service sector and industry.

The service sector contributes 48% to Rwanda's economy.  "We need a vibrant non-farm sector", Dr. Bizoza said.

Murekezi's plan is molded in four pillars; governance, justice, economy, and welfare.

He seeks to develop the private sector, investing in ICT, energy and roads; providing jobs to the youth and easing access to finance for youth and women.

Rwanda has seen mobile phone penetration rise up to 63% from 53% in 24 months. Internet penetration is now at 22%, up from 7.9% two years ago.

The Prime Minister is convinced that the new targets set are attainable.

A robust agricultural shift from subsistence to commercial faming is also part of his plan. All farmers will access to improved seeds on consolidated land along with extension services such as irrigation and mechanization.

Economist Dr. Alfred Bizoza says the government will have to consider promoting a public-private partnership model to achieve some of these targets.

The government has also promised funding to academic institutions for more "development-oriented research".

Good government planning, transparency, and accountability are the other focus areas for the next three years.

The plan fits into Vision 2020, Rwanda's development blueprint that seeks to turn the country into a middle-income economy.

"I ensure you that the programme will be put into practice as announced to you," Murekezi addressed the Members of Parliament.

Lower Chamber Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa commented; "We will use the power invested in us by the constitution to monitor the programme."

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