The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Board approved US$ 39.44-million, April 3, for the Rwanda Skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship Programme (SEEP).
The programme, which was designed in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and other development partners, will support specific sector budget lines of the FY 2012/13 budget.
The SEEP’s overarching goal is to support the Government’s policy reform efforts aimed at promoting inclusive growth and accelerating poverty reduction.
The SEEP seeks to support the implementation of catalytic programmes in the education, employment and enterprise development sectors.
The programme focuses on two areas: (i) Skills and Employability; and (ii) Entrepreneurship Development.
In particular, the SEEP will contribute to the Government’s efforts to reduce critical skills gaps, improve the relevance of education to the labour market and create an environment where innovative entrepreneurship can flourish.
Mr. Negatu Makonnen, Resident Representative of the AfDB Rwanda Country Office said that “the SEEP beneficiaries will include youth, women and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
According to Mr. Negatu, The youth and women comprise 40% and 52% of the population respectively while SMEs account for over 90% of private sector establishments and employ the majority of the population.
“Therefore, the African Development Bank’s support through the SEEP will directly contribute to inclusive growth and reduction of the Balance of Payments and fiscal deficits.
This will also contribute to a reduction in Rwanda’s high dependence on foreign aid over the medium term,” he emphasized.
The SEEP is anchored on the AfDB’s Country Strategy Paper (2012–2016) for Rwanda which aims at promoting economic competitiveness for inclusive growth and poverty reduction through two strategic and complementary pillars: (i) Infrastructure Development and (ii) Enterprise and Institutional Development.
The programme is also aligned with Rwanda’s “Vision 2020” and the newly formulated second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2, 2013–17), which seeks to consolidate and scale up gains achieved under EDPRS 1.
Therefore, the SEEP is expected to help to meet the Government’s objective of generating rapid economic growth which is required to drive the country towards attaining middle-income status by 2020 and reduce poverty to 30% by 2015.
Rwandan Woman on sewing machine