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International Community Must Continue Its Support Of Rwanda Or Risk Reversing Development Progress

Cutting aid to Rwanda because of its alleged role in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is outlined in a November 2012 U.N. Security Council-commissioned report, “is the wrong approach,” Tony Blair, founder of the Africa Governance Initiative, and Howard Buffett, president of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, write in a Foreign Policy opinion piece, noting that the report, containing “allegations the government strongly denies, … has led a number of Western governments and multilaterals to suspend aid to Rwanda, totaling $245 million.” They continue, “Cutting aid to Rwanda also risks undoing one of Africa’s great success stories. In the last five years, Rwanda has lifted one million people out of poverty, created one million new jobs, and is poised to meet most of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.”

“Instead, the international community should continue to work with Rwanda while strengthening its support to the DRC, particularly in the area of governance,” Blair and Buffet continue, concluding “We cannot afford to get this wrong or maintain the status quo. It is time to end conflict and suffering and promote peace and prosperity. This requires a new approach and a focus on addressing the fundamental failures in the region” (2/21).