FOREIGN AID -The government of Japan yesterday decided to spend $5.2 million (about Frw 2.8b) to extend a non-project grant programme to Rwanda so the country can adjust its import-export imbalance and further develop its rural roads.
The grant agreement was reached yesterday in Kenya between Rwanda’s Ambassador to Kenya George William Kayonga and Ambassador-designate of Japan to Rwanda, Shigeo Iwatani.
‘The grant shall be used by the government of Rwanda for the purchase of products upon which the authorities concerned of the two governments agreed,’ a statement said.
Yumi Otsuka, head of the Japanese Embassy’s Great Lakes Division, said Rwanda is a country with a large imbalance between its exports and imports, which is damaging to the economy.
“We decided to provide this type of assistance to adjust that imbalance,” Otsuka said.
Rwanda will be using the grant money to import products which will be sold by the government.
The proceeds of the sale will be used to improve Rwanda’s rural roads sector. Otsuka added that Japan hopes to help Rwanda reduce transportation costs and make the rural sector accessible to commerce and trade.
The goods Rwanda will be allowed to trade in under the agreement are varied, and include everything from petroleum products to leather materials.
Rwanda and Japan agreed on a list of 106 items. Otsuka said the two governments agreed on a list to avoid the importing of any goods that could be used for military purposes.
Kigali, meanwhile, said in the statement that some of the money would also go toward paying down the country’s debt. Otsuka said that in addition to the grant, Japan has supplied 100 buses to help expand Onatracom’s eastern province operations.