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French Development Support To Rwanda Exceeds President Macron Target

by Daniel Sabiiti
3:13 pm

President Paul Kagame(L) and French President Emmanuel Macron

The French Development Agency (AFD) has exceeded its targeted contribution to Rwanda’s development five years after the agency resumed its activities in Rwanda.

The resumption of AFD Group’s activity in Rwanda began in 2019 when President Paul Kagame hosted AFD Group’s CEO, Rémy Rioux, ending a 25-year absence.

This meeting allowed AFD to re-establish dialogue with Rwandan authorities and two years later President Emmanuel Macron visited Rwanda with a new promise.

During his historical visit to Rwanda in 2021, President Macron made a commitment that “Team France” would mobilize €500 million by the end of 2023 to support Rwanda’s development strategy.

This visit was also followed by the opening of an AFD office in Kigali in October 2021 accelerating the process of mutual understanding, and identified a number of priorities and projects to come.

President Macron in a visit to Rwanda

Three years on, a new AFD report shows that following the Macron promise, French support to Rwanda has exceeded by €4million to reach €504million.

“This commitment has been not only achieved, but exceeded, with €504 million deployed” the AFD said.

In collaboration with Rwanda, this funding focused in priority sectors, including health and education, and climate finance.

For example, within the framework of a vocational training project to meet the needs of the labor market, 4,400 students per year benefit from enhanced training in the mechatronics department (mechanics and electronics) of IPRC Tumba Polytechnic and four other institutions.

Beneficiaries learning technical skills at IPRC Tumba Polytechnic

AFD support for the financial sector has helped create or preserve 554 jobs in 83 SMEs via Bank of Kigali (BK).

The agency has also been engaged in Green financial flows, both public and private – including the launch of Ireme Invest, an innovative tool to “green” the private sector, supported by Development Bank of Rwanda and the Rwanda Green Fund.

“Beyond that, several initiatives have recently been launched and will be realized on the ground in the near future in the fields of education (especially French language support and education), development of informal settlements in Kigali with the European Union, health, and digital,” AFD said.

AFD office Kigali plans to hold consultations on February 22 with Rwanda government to officially present these results and define new areas of cooperation.

“These consultations will be an opportunity to renew our partnership with Rwanda, building on the successes of the last 3 years,” says Arthur Germond, AFD Director in Rwanda.

“The AFD Group aims to capitalize on supported flagship initiatives including the mechatronics department at IPRC Tumba, the launch of Ireme Invest, or the upcoming construction of Musanze Hospital to better support Rwanda in its ambitious development trajectory.”

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