Rwanda Defends Latest Poverty Report

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), hospital Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has welcomed the agreement reached by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, medicine the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition (SPLMA/IO) and the SPLM Leaders (Former Detainees) with respect to the implementation of the security arrangements of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

The Parties also agreed on the deployment of a Joint Integrated Police for the security of Juba, as well as of other locations, namely Bor, Malakal and Bentui.

Article 15 of the agreement provides that the positions of governor in Unity State and Upper Nile will be held by rebels while government will retain that of Jonglei state.

According to the agreement’s Article 5.5, “all military forces within Juba shall be redeployed outside at a radius of 25 kms from the centre of the national capital beginning 30 days after the signing of the agreement and completed after 90 days.”

This is currently taking place in Juba.

Kiir’s government were opposed to this idea, saying this is a matter of sovereignty and that the army has the responsibility to protect the nation, its people and its leadership.

The Chairperson of the Commission commended the Team of IGAD Special Envoys, namely Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, General Lazaro Sumbeiywo and General Mohamed El-dabi, for their efforts and commitment in assisting the South Sudanese stakeholders achieve lasting peace in their country.

“The Chairperson of the Commission looks forward to the faithful implementation of the commitments made by the South Sudanese stakeholders, in order to pave the way for the early establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU),” reads a statement from the African Union.


The Chairperson of the Commission further welcomed the appointment, by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), on 2 November 2015, of Major General Molla Hailemariam as the Chairperson of the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM). She calls on the parties to urgently appoint their nominees to the CTSAMM and to extend full cooperation to General Hailemariam.
The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has refuted allegations of manipulating statistics its latest poverty report to paint a picture of a country making giant strides in eradicating poverty, page Chimp Corps report.

France 24 this week quoted Dr Filip Reyntjens, professor of African Law and Politics at the University of Antwerp and a renowned harsh critic of President Kagame, as saying facts in “Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey” (EICV4) report focusing on the period 2013-14 were altered.

Reyntjens said, “The government changed the methodology, especially the poverty line, before publishing the report. So in the final report, instead of going up, poverty levels appear to have gone down by several percentage points.”

“We redid the calculations using the initial methodology, and the results show that the poverty rate actually rose by six percent in 2013-14,” he added.

To obtain this decrease in the poverty levels, alleged France 24, the authors modified the consumption criteria of the poorest Rwandans.

Gov’t fires back

However, NISR Director-General Yusuf Murangwa said the claims made about the integrity of Rwanda’s official development statistics by anonymous sources in a France 24 article of 2 November 2015 are fundamentally wrong.

“First, there was no change to the definition of poverty in Rwanda. It has remained fixed at 2,500 calories since the first EICV in 2000. That baseline is high in comparative perspective,” said Murangwa on Wednesday.

“Rwanda could have lowered the calorie threshold to align with the levels used by similar countries, but chose to maintain the higher baseline in order to be certain that the full picture of poverty and progress was captured.”

Murangwa further pointed out that an update to the composition of the statistical food basket used to measure poverty was long overdue, adding, “There have been enormous structural changes to production and consumption patterns in the past fifteen years, such as the introduction of maize as a staple crop. A model that failed to take account of these changes would yield distorted results.”

He observed that changes to the ratio of products in the food basket are made following a rigorous methodological process of the report including wide consultation with technical development partners.

“Rwanda and its development partners have invested heavily in reliable statistical capacity, abiding by international standards. Scrutiny of our work is welcome, and indeed beneficial. Ultimately the facts speak for themselves.”

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