The Ministry of Finance has tabled the budget for fiscal year 2023/2024 which include key projects that will drive economic and social development targets in key areas.
Presenting the budget this June 15, 2023, Finance Minister Uzziel Ndagijimana said that the projects will be supported by donor countries, international agencies through grants that have been solicited in areas of economic development, social welfare and governance.
The government plans to increase access to electricity connectivity with Rwf74.3billion grant from the World Bank and the French Development Agency (ADF), Rwf25.1billion from the African development bank (AfDB), and Rwf18.5billion.
In the national strategy for Transformation (NST1), Rwanda has set a target of reaching 100% access to electricity for all Rwandans by the year 2024.
The 5th Population and Housing Census done in August 2022 indicate that in Rwanda the cumulative connectivity rate is 61.0% of Rwandan households including 47% connected to the national grid and 14% accessing through off-grid systems (mainly solar)
This will also see construction of the second Phase of the Nyabarongo hydro power plant worth Rwf10.1 billion with support from the government of China.
With unstable fuel prices determining global economy performance, Rwanda has also planned to construct more storage facilities (with a capacity of 60million cubic litres) worth Rwf13.5billion in Rusororo, in Kigali.
Rwanda has also set a target of reaching 100% access to clean water for all Rwandans by the year 2024 (in the NST1). According to statistics only 57% of the population access safe drinking water that is within 30 minutes of their home.
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) report ended 30th June 2022 showed that most of the water plants are old and operating under capacity.
The audit noted that eleven (11) out of 25 Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) operated by the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), produced less than 75% of their capacity. This was because seven plants constructed between 1965 and 1988 had operational issues and in poor condition.
In the next budget, the government plans to construct the Muvumba plant (worth Rwf20.8billion) with the support of the AfDB which will also come with a sustainable clean water access, hygiene and sanitation program worth Rwf44billion.
Rwanda plans to improve access to clean water and sanitation through rehabilitation of non-functional water supply systems/networks, improvement of water supply and sanitation in urban and rural areas, upgrading of Karenge Water Treatment Plant (worth Rwf5.8bllion from Hungary) and implementation of Rwanda Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program
Rwanda’s tourism revenue rose by 171% from $164 million in 2021 to $445 million in 2022 (above the earlier projected revenues of $350 million) according to a recent report by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
To improve conference tourism, hosting and managing exhibition events which have been catching up after the COVID-19 shock, the ministry of finance revealed that Rwf11.3billion has been set aside for that purpose.
Agriculture and Food security
The minister also said that Rwf19.9billion irrigation fund will be secured to improve specifically the horticulture export sector.
Latest data on Rwanda’s horticultural exports (fruits, vegetables and flowers) for last week shows Export volumes stood at 264.42Metric Tons (MT) with revenue of $501,093; from main countries of destination such as: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Also with support of the World Bank, Rwanda will secure Rwf11.4billion for food security and with support from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Rwf6.5bilion will be invested in 2nd phase of restoring the wetlands in Kayonza district.
Also in line with food security Rwf13.6billion will be secured for storing seed harvests and Rwf4.6billion for supporting small and medium agro-export enterprises, while crop intensification program for robust production will get Rwf37.7billion.
As the demand for agricultural financing increases where the African Union has asked governments to increase access to agricultural loans, Rwanda, with funding from World Bank, plans to invest Rwf45.5billion in agro-business and agricultural financing through banks.
Road and Water Infrastructure
With funding from the World Bank, Rwanda plans to expand road networks in Nyabugogo-Jabana-Mukoto (Rwf12.8billion), and to construct feeder roads connecting communities to markets which will take Rwf35.5billion.
The budget will also go to the expansion of Ngoma-Nyanza road (Kibugabuga-Gasoro section) at Rwf18.9bllion and the Ngoma-Ramiro route at Rwf18.4bllion (from the government of Japan).
To connect Kigali and neigbouring satellite cities, Rwf45.5billon from World Bank will be channeled in road networks and another Rwf9.9billion in the greening of the city of Kigali.
The development of water transport system that remains underutilized according to the OAG reports will get Rwf23.8billion.
Environment and Climate Change mitigation and adaptation measures will be strengthened with restoration of degraded forests and catchments, construction and landscaping works for wetlands rehabilitation, increasing the land under biodiversity conservation and operationalizing IREME Invest and the NDC Facility to mobilize climate finance.
This will see Rwf 6bllion injected in the northern province, Rwf1.6Billion for the Virunga region, and Rwf1.9billion in the eastern province tree planting program (supported by Belgium).
Through a Rwf11.8billion funding, the next budget will cater for construction and rehabilitation of more school blocks adding to over 22,000 classrooms that were constructed in the previous year.
The technical education sector will also get Rwf19.4billion for equipment and the University of Rwanda will get Rwf16.4billion to increase its infrastructure.
Other cross-cutting projects to be implemented include the ambition to reduce malnutrition which is at 33.1% for children under 5 years, with Rwf22.2billion in a nutrition program and Rwf12.2billion to give fortified foods for children under 23 months and their mothers.
The World Bank will also inject Rwf44.2billion to support citizen social welfare and refugees, while the health sector will get medical equipment worth Rwf12.1biillion and fight against malaria, Rwf72.4billion.
Use of ICT in local government will be boosted with Rwf4.8billion, citizen’s ICT skills development will get Rwf3.3billion, cyber security (Rwf1.3billion), renovation of the telecom house (Rwf6.4billion) and equipping the national forensic lab (Rwf2billion).