Rwanda will receive €832,615 (about Rwf885 million) grant as part of the support provided to the country under the COMESA adjustment facility (CAF) to expedite the implementation of regional integration programmes.
CAF is funded by the 10th European Development Fund under its regional integration support mechanism programme, a statement from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) indicates.
The funding deal was signed by the Finance minister Amb Claver Gatete and COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya on the sidelines of the AU extraordinary summit in Kigali on Wednesday.
Ngwenya noted that the funds will be used to implement adjustment programmes, which aim to boost exports within the COMESA region. These include the operationalisation of a national trade policy forum, removal of 13 non-tariff barriers and adoption of 253 harmonised EAC standards, as well as signing of a protocol with the DR Congo establishing a simplified trade regime between the two countries. It is also designed to strengthen the capacity of institutional organisations and small-and-medium enterprises, among others, he added.
Minister Gatete said the grant will contribute toward regional integration efforts, including reduction of non-tariff barriers to enhance cross-border trade.
He added: “COMESA is our valued partner in regional integration and we look forward to more partnerships”.
Rwanda was awarded the funds by the COMESA Fund Ministerial Committee held in Lusaka in December 2017 following a positive assessment of the country’s achievements in its commitments on regional integration indicators under the programme, according to the statement.