KIGALI - The European Union Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, yesterday, signed an agreement valued at Euros 6.85 million, to help Rwanda improve its public financial management capacities.
The funds will be channeled through Rwanda Institutional Support to Statistics and Public Financial Management (RISSP) and would support in the implementation of government strategies in the areas of statistics and public financial management.
“The strengthening of our public finance management systems is an important factor since we have had that as a commitment of enhancing good governance in all areas of public management, said Rwangombwa.
He added that; “We truly believe that planning is based on solid numbers, facts and realities on the ground, we embanked on an ambitious programme to build our systems and institutions, and we are happy that we are getting support from our partners.”
“We have a national development strategy that will help us build our statistical system that will, at the end of the day, help us in drawing up strong plans for our development.”
The Minister went on to thank the EU for channeling their finances directly to budget support.
“In our aid policy we considered budget support as the preferred modernity of channeling aid to our development. We are happy that the EU has been one of our partners that have accepted that principle. 90 per cent of their financial support is going direct to our budget and we appreciate that.”
Rwangombwa, further pointed out the merits of direct budget support.
“It ensures 100% alignment to government programmes, it supports ownership because its money received in our coffers and spent through our systems but also it supports the strengthening of the government finance management systems, and also, strengthens the dialogue between the government and our development partners,” he said.
In his address Piebalgs said that the EU will be providing the amount over the next five years.
“Our financing is aimed at assisting the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda to achieve its objectives spelt out in the national strategy. It will also go to the government to achieve its targets as listed in the public financial management reform strategy,” he said.
“Recognizing the strong systems that Rwanda has put in place to manage public funds, I am pleased to point out that our support will be channeled directly into basket funds which are managed directly by NISR and the Ministry of Finance.”
Piebalgs pointed out that; “efficient and effective management of public finance is crucial to the good functioning of the State and I very much appreciate the efforts Rwanda has put in place in the past years and this signing is a significant progress that you have achieved in the area of public financial management reforms.”
Meanwhile, during the same function, the EU granted 45 million Euros for a program to promote regional integration of the three countries comprising the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL).
CEPGL member states are Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The CEPGL agreement will support the rehabilitation of road connections between six cities in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi as well as cross-border energy and hydropower projects.
According the Ministry of Finance, the EU support to Rwanda is close to Euros 300 million.