KIGALI - Rwanda has received Euros10.3m (Rwf 8.8billion) to counterbalance projected revenue losses incurred after the country joined the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC) Customs Union.
The adoption of the Common External Tariff (CET) was the condition required for Rwanda to qualify for the first installment of the compensation that is financially supported by the European Union (EU) through COMESA.
Rwanda applied for the funds amounting to the projected loss of Rwf 12.2 billion it anticipated, after joining the customs union.
The payment constitutes an advance payment of 65 percent of the total estimated revenue loss to Rwanda of €15.9 million to implement the East African Community (EAC) Common External Tariff.
COMESA Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, signed on behalf of his bloc and the EAC while Finance Minister, James Musoni, signed on behalf of Rwanda.
Sindiso commended Rwanda’s efforts to implement the regional integration agenda, particularly the COMESA Free Trade Area and EAC Common External Tariff.
“The success of Rwanda is not by accident, but a result of deliberate and calculated strategies and policies.Indeed, the country’s success boils down to the visionary leadership of H.E President Paul Kagame who is not only an inspiration to the people of Rwanda, but to the COMESA and EAC regions and beyond,” Sindiso said .
Musoni hailed the COMESA support and stressed that it will help Rwanda reduce the negative impact of regional economic integration reforms.
The facility will also allow the government to achieve its commitments as reflected under the Regional Integration Programme.
Rwanda joined COMESA Free Trade Area in 2004, and officially implemented the East African Community’s Customs Union on July 1st this year, two years after her entry into the regional bloc.