URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame yesterday held talks with officials from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding how the two institutions can continue supporting development projects in the country.
Mark Plant, the IMF Deputy Director for African Development who was accompanied by the IMF Resident Representative for Rwanda, Dimitry Gershenson and the IMF Mission Chief, Zuzana Murgasova, had paid a courtesy call on the President at Urugwiro Village to acknowledge the progress the country registered in 2008.
Speaking to the press shortly after the meeting, President Kagame, Plant said that the IMF was impressed by Rwanda’s economic growth which registered an improvement 11.2 percent as well as the policies the country is implementing that are pro-development.
Plant explained that the talks with the President evolved around how the IMF can continue supporting development in the country to sustain the steady growth at the time when the economic crisis is hitting hard.
“We came here to assure the President that the IMF remains committed to support Rwanda in pursuing its development goals especially through supporting programmes like the EDPRS and promoting good governance policies,” Plant said.
The IMF chief for Africa noted that the world financing will continue working with Rwanda to develop good frameworks that address the issue of inflation and also help the country maintain a healthy monetary policy.
Among other things, he noted that IMF will continue supporting Rwanda to develop a strong ICT sector, considering that Rwanda has shown the ability to set the pace for other African countries to follow in ICT development.
Other areas where IMF intends to support Rwanda include the promotion of export trade and how to utilise resources better to attain development goals.
The Minister of Finance revealed that IMF will in June this year embark on a 3-year Policy Support Instruments (PSI) to take over from the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) which is climaxing in June.
The PSI is a framework of economic growth stimulants and efficient policy implementation tools to facilitate development.
The President also hosted Johannes Zutt, the newly appointed World Bank Country Director for the Eastern Africa region in talks, at Urugwiro Village aimed at discussing economic intervention strategies of the bank, including the newly approved Country Assistance Strategy.
Zutt who was accompanied by the World Bank Country Manager, Victoria Kwakwa, affirmed the bank’s commitment to continue giving financial support to healthcare programmes, education, Agriculture, good governance as well as energy and infrastructure development.
The Finance Minister, James Musoni noted that this year, the World Bank, through IFC, will fund several projects including the construction of the proposed railway line, methane gas extraction as well as boosting the country’s hotel industry.
The Bank is set to support major reforms in the Rwanda Habitat Bank in a bid to boost the housing sector in the country.
Also discussed are plans by the WB to align the country’s banking sector to support Small and Medium Enterprises and the Private Sector.
WB has set aside US $413m to support development projects in the country for the next 3 years and this year alone, WB has approved over Rwf 70bn to inject in the country’s financial sector and support infrastructure development.