Photo taken on May 10, 2019 shows a view of Kigali, capital city of Rwanda. Rwandan scholars and residents on Tuesday voiced their support for the country's poverty reduction in interviews, days after certain foreign media reported misrepresented poverty data from the government. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)
by Frank Kanyesiyge, James Gashumba and Lyu Tianran
KIGALI, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan scholars and residents on Tuesday voiced their support for the country's poverty reduction in interviews, days after certain foreign media reported misrepresented poverty data from the government.
Ladislas Ngendahimana, political analyst and secretary general of the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities, said constantly increasing revenue collections and growing investments both in the capital city Kigali and rural areas are positive signs of poverty reduction.
Rwanda has recorded accelerated poverty reduction in the past 10 years, he said, blasting certain western media for "fake stories."
Rwanda's poverty levels has been constantly declining year by year as shown in the fifth Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
The results are "self evident" due to several government home-grown programs aimed at improving rural lives and poverty eradication in the country.
The programs include the One Cow per Poor Family program, an integrated development program Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP) and community-based health insurance scheme Mutuelle de Sante, said Herman Musahara, associate professor at College of Business and Economics, University of Rwanda.
All these programs are playing a key role towards eradicating poverty levels in Rwanda, Musahara added, noting that Rwanda has some of the best data on economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the opinion of Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, researcher and writer on politics and public affairs, one of the ways the government of Rwanda legitimatizes itself is delivery, and the government that is driven to deliver cannot fake its own data because it uses the data to do planning.
Rwanda has evidence "everywhere" of its economic progress and the porgress on poverty reduction is "impressive," said Alexis Nyandwi, Communication Program Manager at Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum.
It has also invested heavily in agriculture modernization whereby smallholder farmers in rural areas have been taught improved farming practices, which has led to increased crop yield, improved incomes and lives, said Nyandwi.
"Rwanda's critics have spoken for decades, but no government ever did what the current government has achieved in different domains," said Esther Mukarwego, a bank accountant.
"Rwandan people can support each other. To me a lot have been achieved in terms of right decisions made by leaders for the best future of our country," school teacher Williams Karara said.
Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana had refuted the report in a public letter, saying the central African country is "open to scrutiny and conversation with all" who are interested in its journey of socio-economic transformation. The World Bank's statement had also supported the official trend of Rwanda's poverty reduction.