Rwanda has been ranked number one among 48 African countries that have registered significant progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
According to a continental data report released by ONE, a campaign and advocacy organization of more than 3 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases, Rwanda ranks top with 6.0 MDGs progress score.
Indeed Rwanda is on course to achieve its MDGs targets by 2015. Already Rwanda has made tremendous strides in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The success of EDPRS 1 has reduced poverty by 12% points from 57% to 45%, lifting a million people from poverty. On top of that extreme poverty dropped from 35.8% in 2006 to 24.1% in 2011. This coupled with the high average growth rates of 8.2% over the same period demonstrate that growth in Rwanda has been pro-poor.
On achieving universal primary education, primary school attendance has increased from 86.6% in 2006 to 91.7% in 2011. The rise in enrollment and attendance has been driven by the government free for all 9 year basic education policy. Government has gone one more step to introduce 12 year basic education thereby including the entire secondary school cycle.
Rwanda has already achieved its targets in promoting gender equality and empowering women. Already Rwanda has a 56% female parliamentary representation, the highest in the world which surpassed the 50% MDG target. Besides, the net parity in primary school enrolment has already been achieved. Furthermore the country as developed an international reputation for combatting gender based violence.
Infant mortality has declined from 86 per 1,000 live births in 2006 to 50 per 1000 live births in 2010. The under-five mortality rate has significantly reduced from the 2006 rate of 152 per 1,000 live births to 76 per 1000 live births in 2011. Improvements in vaccination coverage over this period have contributed significantly with the number of children vaccinated increasing from 75% in 2006 to 90% in 2011.
Maternal mortality remains moderately high but is well on course to meet the MDG target (268/100,000) after declining from 750 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth to 476 between 2006 and 2011. This improvement is attributed to an increase in the percentage of delivery assisted by skilled providers which increased from 39% in 2006 to 69% in 2011. Furthermore, delivery in a health facility went up from 28% in 2006 to 69% in 2011.
HIV prevalence rate has remained constant between 2006 and 2011 at 3%. However, there has been a decline in the HIV prevalence rate amongst pregnant women tested as part of routine antenatal care between 2006 and 2011 from 4.4% to 2.4% respectively. Mother-to-child transmission rate has also declined from 21.5% in 2006 to 2.6% in 2011.
There has been a decline in malaria and Tuberculosis cases. The death rate associated with TB has decreased from 6% to 4% between 2006 and 2011. Ownership of at least one long lasting insecticide treated bed net has risen from 15% in 2006 to 82% in 2011. A similar trend is observed in the number of five year olds sleeping under a treated net from 16% in 2005 to 70% in 2011.
On ensuring environmental sustainability, proportion of surface land area covered by forest has increased from 20% in 2006 to 22% in 2011. This is coupled with an increase in percentage of land protected to maintain biodiversity from 8% in 2008 to 10.13% in 2011.
On top of that, household access to safe drinking water has increased from 64% in 2006 to 74.2% in 2011 which is on track for the MDG target of 82%. There have also been gains in access to sanitation from 58.5% in 2006 to 74.5% in 2011.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ambassador Claver Gatete noted that the country’s visionary leadership, vision and commitment has indeed spearheaded the country’s progress in attaining the MDGs.
“When you have a country that has a vision, a long term strategy that implements the vision as well as a clear leadership, things happen. The leadership is the most crucial because it ensures that whatever has been decided is implemented,” Minister Gatete said.