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Optimism As World Bank Signs Rwanda $95M

by Dan Ngabonziza
6:34 pm
Optimism As World Bank Signs Rwanda $95M

A woman selling eggs at a market in Kigali. The funding from World Bank will help Rwanda in managing its social safety net programs.

The World Bank predicates a steady Rwandan economic growth in the foreseeable future if the country maintains the current rate of inflow of investments.

Carolyn Turk, the outgoing World Bank country director, told KT Press on Tuesday that Rwanda is expected to register a health economy growth if it increases agricultural output and unemployment kept in check.

Rwanda has maintained an 8% average growth rate for the past two decades.

“I am very confident that Rwanda has a very good future,” Turk told journalists shortly after bidding farewell to President Paul Kagame at his office in Kigali.

Turk has been the Bank’s country director for three years and has seen the relationship between Rwanda and the World Bank get cozy day by day.

During her three-year tenure, the World Bank donated over $750 million to support the country’s development projects and further committed $1 billion extra support for the next five years.

“The projects we have funded so far are the best performing on the continent and we see tangible results,” Turk said.

The global financial institution will tomorrow sign Rwanda another $95 million to fight poverty and create jobs.

The funding, which goes to government, supports Rwanda’s national social protection system, Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP).

With the funds, Rwanda will able to cushion more people from the full impact of various shocks, from unemployment, illness to sudden natural disasters.

The continuous fund has facilitated Rwanda make dramatic cuts in poverty and inequality, with the country recently registering a record decline in poverty, from 57% in 2006 to 45% in 2011, according to the World Bank.

Rwanda’s primary social safety net, VUP, covers nearly half of the country’s 416 geographical sectors in 2012, up from just 30 when it was launched in 2008.

The number of poor people benefiting from the program has grown from less than 10,000 to over half a million in the same period.

Vincent Kagabo 75, a resident of Pfumbwe sector in Rwamagana district, Eastern Rwanda, is one of the beneficiaries.

He had for years failed to provide for his three children and wife. Through this program, Kagabo receives Rwf70, 000 allowance (~$100) every three months or $1 per day as stipend.

Kagabo managed to save a portion of his stipend. Gradually, it accumulated. “I bought two pieces of land and ten goats. I don’t buy food anymore, I get it from my farm,” he told KT Press.

In May 2015, after signing the $50 million agreements, Turk said; “While Rwanda has pushed back poverty dramatically in the past decade; it is still one of the world’s poorest countries.”

She said that World Bank will continue supporting Rwanda’s efforts in managing its social safety net programs more efficiently, “so that poor people can withstand economic and climatic shocks better and benefit more from economic growth.”