The UK Department for International Development (DFID), yesterday, extended £76 million to support the education and agricultural sectors during the current fiscal year.
The support was announced by Donal Brown, DFID’s acting Director for East and Central Africa, during a meeting held with Finance Minister John Rwangombwa at the ministry’s headquarters.
The education sector takes the lion’s share of up to £58m, with £40m as direct support to the Ministry of Education budget. A further £3m is designated for undergraduate scholarships while £10m is set aside as ‘Innovation Fund’ to support non governmental organisations in scaling up successful and innovative education models.
The remaining funds will also help the education sector in capacity development, evaluation and research.
The agricultural sector will receive a total of £18m as direct budget support to bolster the expansion of services to farmers, increase agricultural productivity and facilitate the reduction of staple food prices.
The support to the sector is also meant to enhance food security and nutrition, reduce poverty, increase economic growth and expand trade in the country.
The aid package is part of the £330m UK government allocated to Rwanda through DFID in the next four years and is expected to rise to £90m in 2014/15 from £60m in the 2010/11 financial year.
“Agriculture has had a good performance in the growth of our economy and has been a shield to the global financial crisis,” Rwangombwa observed.
He commended the UK government for its support to the two sectors, which he said, are key in the development of the country.
UK was the first country to offer budgetary support to Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“It’s good to see such a government with a strong vision and with energy and enthusiasm to achieve the set targets. We have a very strong and firm friendship which we will continue to build on,” Brown, who promised further support, said.