The European Commission (EU) on Thursday signed with Rwanda a €460 (Rwf410b or US$600m) grant meant for assisting the country with its development agenda.
The six year development assistance plan (2014-2020) will help Rwanda execute its second Economic Development and Poverty reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).
Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Claver Gatete, said the grant will accelerate Rwanda’s development targets on critical sectors that have an impact on development.
“We are committed to ensure that it contributes to the socio-economic wellbeing of Rwandans,” Minister Gatete said.
Specifically, the 11th grant, which is under the European Development Fund National Indicative Program, will support sustainable energy, agriculture and food security as well as accountable governance.
The EU Commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs, said the commison signed the grant because it is convinced with Rwanda’s pursuit for accelerated growth and poverty reduction.
“We recognize the excellent progress achieved as well as universally acclaimed results towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals,” Piebalgs said.
Rwanda intends to channel some of the funds into power generation, access to energy for urban and rural households, energy efficiency and reduction of diesel and heavy dependence on biomass.
The other funds will support agriculture development and food security. The country is investing in supporting rural households through improving food and nutrition security and agricultural intensification.
The funds allocated to accountable governance will help strengthen public accountability, democratic governance and ensuring efficient, effective and accountable use of public resources.
According to Minister Gatete, who signed the agreement from Brussels on behalf of the government, the 11th EDF funds will be channeled through the national budget. Disbursement of the funds begins effective second half of 2015.
This is the second grant from the EU, which has been increased by 35%. The commission funded the first EDPRS for the period of 2008–13, with €290m.
The funds were meant to support infrastructure projects and trade. Meanwhile, apart from utilizing the grant effectively, Rwanda is also required to respect and support civil liberties as a pre-condition.
By Magnus Mazimpaka.