The two financial agreements were signed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana on Wednesday.
European Union grant of Rwf10.8 billion will be used to support the private sector development and job creation. It is part of the more than Rwf495.8 billion of support to Rwanda for the period going until the end of 2020.
The funding will be used to address the country’s needs to create employment opportunities for its youth with activities set to focus on digital economy and tourism hospitality and hotels.
Both institutions have shown that they are the ones who can build quickly in the private sector.
This will be implemented in two projects; ‘Market Skills4Tourism’ will increase knowledge for young people in the tourism and hotel sector, and ‘Tech Innovation / Incubation Hubs’ will increase technology-based jobs through innovation. It will focus on Kigali’s defense cities of Rusizi, Rubavu, Nyagatare, and Muhanga.
Nicola Bellomo, head of the EU delegation to Rwanda said the funding would help the tourism and hotels sector affected by Covid-19.
“This is particularly more relevant to the current situation where the tourism and hospitality sector has been the most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the current crisis has demonstrated that without a strong digital sector, it is difficult to adapt to the new world normal; that is why this programme is so timely to fill the gaps within the digital ecosystem in Rwanda”, he said.
The government has also signed an agreement with the World Bank’s Rwf142 billion grant, which will be used to support the government to expand opportunities for the acquisition of quality, market-relevant skills in selected economic sectors.
Half the financing is a grant while the other is a concessional loan payable in 38 years, with a 6-year grace period at 0.75% interest rate.
Rwanda plans to use the money to increase access to technical and vocational education and training as well as higher education programmes that are responsive to both labour market needs and social and economic development.
Skills development and employment promotion are central to Rwanda´s National Strategy for Transformation. " Equipping the workforce with the right skills for economic transformation is central to our long term development objectives, so this support will contribute to upskilling Rwanda’s workforce for long-term economic transformation,” Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said.