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One Million Rwandans Jump Poverty Line

By George Ihugo November 23, 2019 0 comments

About 200,000 households (one million people) have graduated out of poverty since 2006, a recent joint survey by the Ministry of Finance and Eco­nomic Planning (MINECOFIN) and the National Institute of Statis­tics Rwanda (NISR) has revealed.

Over the last five years, access to safe drinking water reached 74 from 64%.

This means that nearly half of the country’s 10.7 million people are now no longer considered poor.

Findings of this survey were un­veiled last week during the launch of the second generation of Eco­nomic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), a national program started in 2008 to end poverty and economic depriva­tion.

“Economic growth has benefited most the poorest households and poverty reduction has been faster in rural areas…. This means that in­equality has significantly reduced,” said Finance Minister John Rwan­gombwa.

The results from the survey indi­cate that GDP per capita increased from US$ 212 in 2001 to US$ 540 in 2010. The target is US$ 900 by 2020. This is achievable if the country maintained the current momen­tum, said Yusuf Murangwa, the NISR director general.

Over the last five years, the num­ber of people with access to elec­tricity increased from 4.3 to 10.8% while access to safe drinking water reached 74 from 64%.

Mobile phones ownership in­creased seven times to 45.2% of the population.

“While it has been a shared dream of all Rwandans, few could foresee the speed with which our country is moving from wide-spread poverty to development and prosperity. We are determined to redouble our ef­forts so that this progress contin­ues,” said Rwangombwa.

Kigali City posted the lowest poverty levels at 16% having fall­en by 4% while Southern Province still has the highest number of poor people at 56.5% even after poverty in the area declined by 10.2%.

The minister said that the coun­try is exceeding Millennium Devel­opment Goals in literacy, maternal health and child nutrition.

“There is no doubt that key pre­cursor to success in these areas is the reduction and eventual eradica­tion, of economic deprivation,” he said.

President Paul Kagame called for more efforts to eradicate poverty.

“We have to improve access to markets through increased invest­ments in infrastructure, especially our rural road network. Access to energy is crucial to our transforma­tion efforts and although this has doubled in the past five years, it re­mains low,” he said.

He called for community part­nership and home-grown solutions to develop the country.

“There has been a mindset shift and Rwandans now know they should aspire for more and better, and the solutions are there within them. This proves that any coun­try can, and should, aspire to erad­icate poverty and grow to middle-income,” he said.

He also added that some home grown initiatives including Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), girinka and umuganda  among other programs have quickly led to the impressive economic devel­opment.

Poverty status by province:

2000/01 2005/06 2010/11 % reduction
Rwanda 58.9% 56.7% 44.9% 11.8%
Kigali city 22.7% 20.8% 16.8% 4.0%
Eastern province 59.3% 52.1% 42.6% 9.5%
Northern province 64.2% 60.5% 42.8% 17.7%
Western province 62.3% 60.4% 48.4% 12.0%
Southern province 65.5% 66.7% 56.5% 10.2%

Source: NISR

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