The contsruction of a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Center located in Kigali Special Economic Zone is in the offing after the Governement of Rwanda signed a EURO 7.5 million (Approx Rwf7.5 billion) finance agreement with UNICREDIT Bank Austria. Rwandas Minister of Finance, Uzziel Ndagijimana signed the agreement on Monday, July 18, in Kigali. Former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer who is leading a delegation visiting Rwanda from his country witnessed the signing. The school will be set up and equipped using technology from the Austrian market. And, according to Gusenbauer, the project is the begining of stronger relationship between the two countries. “We believe this is a starting point for a possible deeper cooperation. This might invite us to thinking about more projects in the sector and as you know, the strategy of Global Housing Solutions (GHS) is; if we are going to enter into a more sustained cooperation then we are not only going to bring things here but also build something that can produce the same technology like we have here and offer employment opportunity for young power,” Gusenbauer said. The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Finance on Monday, July 18. Craish Bahizi The centre of excellence will be constructed by GHS, an Austrian based company dealing in building solutions. The company also plans to establish a factory for construction materials in Rwanda. Gusenbauer also spoke about his country’s investors’ perception of Rwanda saying that, “I am informed that President Kagame is much interested in getting foreign direct investments from Europe, and I know from my friends who have investments here, they tell me they are very satisfied with their investments” The centre of excellence will enable establishment of a modern and highly efficient dual training programme which will be a model for industrial-academia linkages that allows exchange of training facilities such as workshops and equipment for mutual benefit. It will also allow students to learn and acquire modern and high-tech skills being applied in industry and aligned to the current and future technologies and innovations; exchange of academic staff and industrial sector experts between the school and companies to enhance the skills needed for the modern labour markets. Speaking after the signing ceremony, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana noted that establishment of the TVET centre of excellence will boost Rwandas existing initiatives towards the implementation of skills development in the industrial zone through TVET. Alfred Gusenbauer, former Austrian Chancellor speaks about the agreement .Craish Bahizi “This financing comes to support Human capital development priorities under our National Strategy for Transformation One (NST1), Economic Transformation Pillar with the objective of Scaling-up the number of TVET graduates with skills relevant to the labor market,” Minister Ndagijimana said. He added that; “We are planning others in several districts. Our strategy is to enrol about 60 percent in TVET schools. We are targeting skills development employment and entrepreneurship from these schools and this support is a contribution to this national strategy.” Currently, there are 456 TVET schools with 76,955 students of which 44 per cent are females.