The MINISTRY of Finance and Economic Planning has signed two financing agreements with the African Development Bank (AfDB) worth $255.14 million (about Rwf215 billion) toward the support of water supply and business development programmes.
In the deal, $171 million will support Rwanda Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, while $84 million will promote Skills and Business Development Programme.
Finance and Economic Planning minister Claver Gatete said they have big expectations from the loan.
“This is the first time we have signed such a lot of money at the same time. It is crucial that we invest in these projects because they will solve the challenges we face,” he said.
Gatete said the $171 million support is in line with the country’s vision to scale up investments in reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable infrastructure, and water and sanitation services.
“The idea is to improve livelihood and socio-economic development by ensuring equitable provision of adequate, reliable and sustainable water and sanitation services,” he said.
The programme targets to improve water supply infrastructure and services, sanitation infrastructure, as well as institutional capacity of Water and Sanitation Corporation.
It will cover Kigali and the secondary cities of Rubavu, Rusizi, Nyagatare, Muhanga, Huye, Musanze and Karongi.
“This is a concessional loan that AfDB has given to Rwanda and an estimated one million people are expected to benefit from improved water supply services while 475,000 people will have access to better sanitation services,” Gabriel Negatu, the director-general of AfDB’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery office, said.
WASAC chief executive Aime Muzola said the loan will help in rehabilitation, upgrading and extension of water supply and distribution networks, as well as centralised sewerage systems, among other plans.
“Water supply and distribution systems that are timeworn will be rehabilitated and upgraded in Kigali and other urban areas. We are targeting expansion of Gihira II Water Treatment Plant and Nzove Water Treatment Plant, among others,” he said.
The projects implementation start in January.
Meanwhile, another $84 million will support business and skills development programme, a three-year sector budget support plan designed to boost economic transformation and job creation by increasing domestic production.
“This financial support has come at the right time, when we have just finished drafting the Made-in-Rwanda Policy aimed at promoting domestic production. We are targeting almost all the small and medium enterprises that make up 98 per cent of industrial sector,” said Trade and Industry minister Vincent Munyeshyaka.
This, he added, will also support inclusive growth and poverty reduction as well as enhance SMEs’ growth and efficiency of cooperatives.
Negatu said Rwanda is among only six African countries with access to AfDB window.
Gatete said the $171 million package will be paid back in 25 years with a grace period of eight years at an interest of 2.3 per cent, while the $84 million will be paid in 35 years with a grace period of five years at an interest rate of 0.75 per cent.