December 18, 2019

Kaberuka Defends UK Aid Agency Due To be Scrapped

Dr Donald Kabereka

Rwanda’s former finance minister Dr Donald Kaberuka has come out in defense of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) which new Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to scrap.

The former President of the African Development Bank, currently also holding several high-level positions including chair of Global Fund board, is the latest to join the chorus denouncing the imminent plan.

DfID and the Department for Exiting the European are going to both be abolished early next year. Civil servants in the Foreign Office and DfID are reportedly working up plans for a merger, while the Brexit department stands to be absorbed into the Department for International Trade.

In Twitter post, Kaberuka, whose tenure as Rwanda top treasurer who oversaw hundreds of millions of British pounds channeled through DfID, called the agency “an icon in international development for over two decades”.

DfID is not perfect but a “force for good”, wrote Kaberuka.

The UK will provide $80 million in development aid to Rwanda this year, all of it via DfID, as has been over the year.

Important to note, at this point, is that there will be no changes to how much aid the UK gives out.

Voices opposed to transferring the DfID to the Foreign Office (FCO) argue that the motives of the aid will change and therefore undermine the efficiency of the aid.

Former UK Prime Miniser Gordon Brown wrote today: “…rolling the DFID into the FCO will undermine the UK’s global position, while yielding no gains in efficiency. Unlike diplomacy, which often depends on secrecy and thus leaves scant audit trails, development efforts demand transparency, and are most effective when subjected to external scrutiny.”

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