Gov’t, partners sign $36m grant agreement

KIGALI - The government yesterday signed two separate grant agreements totalling to US$36.5 million, with the World Bank and the Kingdom of Sweden.The World Bank extended US$30 million towards skills development while the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) pledged US$ 6.5 million for environmental protection.
(L-R) World Bank representative. Mimi Ladipo, Finance Minister John Rwangombwa and Energy and Lands Minister Stanislas Kamanzi during the signing ceremony yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda).
(L-R) World Bank representative. Mimi Ladipo, Finance Minister John Rwangombwa and Energy and Lands Minister Stanislas Kamanzi during the signing ceremony yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda).

KIGALI - The government yesterday signed two separate grant agreements totalling to US$36.5 million, with the World Bank and the Kingdom of Sweden.

The World Bank extended US$30 million towards skills development while the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) pledged US$ 6.5 million for environmental protection.

The Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa, welcomed the WB’s assistance, and acknowledged Rwanda’s skills challenge.

“As you know, the issue of skills is still a big challenge to this country,” the minister said, noting that the government’s vision 2020 aimed at establishing knowledge-based economy.

World Bank Country Manager, Mimi Ladipo, said the country is making steady progress towards attaining its long term development vision of becoming a middle income economy by 2020, but pointed out at skills gaps that remain important obstacles.

She explained that the funding would strengthen the government’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through the implementation of the skills development projects.

The implementation agency is the Workforce Development Authority (WDA).

“The largest component of this project focuses on strengthening vocational training delivery in the hospitality and tourism and construction sub sectors,” Ladipo said.

On the Swedish aid, Rwangombwa, pointed out that the former was the second development partner to provide Rwanda with budget support “and we except to see that being revived very soon.”

 “We appreciate the other channels that we agreed with the Kingdom of Sweden through which these resources are channelled.

We are happy with the current setup because it’s really going through programmes implemented by government,” Rwangombwa said.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to putting donor aid to efficient use, “for the benefit of all Rwandans”.
Swedish aid to Rwanda is now channelled directly to particular development programmes.

SIDA's Head of Mission, Richard Bomboma, said the money would be channelled through the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

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