Rwanda secures over Rwf110 billion funding from France for healthcare, infrastructure development

On 30 October 2023 at 02:19

In a significant move aimed at enhancing healthcare facilities and rural infrastructure, Richard Tusabe, Minister of State for National Treasury, and Arthur Germond, AFD’s Director in Rwanda, signed a €75 million loan (over Rwf97 billion) for the modernization of Ruhengeri Level Two Teaching Hospital, and a €16 million loan (over Rwf21 billion) to support infrastructure development in 16 rural districts.

Ruhengeri Level Two Teaching Hospital Modernization

Ruhengeri Hospital, located in the district of Musanze, serves as the reference medical facility for six surrounding districts, anticipating a population growth of 2.1 to 3 million by 2040. Built in 1939, the hospital has reached its maximum capacity.

In response to these challenges and aligned with Rwanda’s strategic health plan, the government has requested AFD’s support.

The modernization initiative will double the hospital’s capacity, expanding from 320 to 550 beds, establish new diagnostic departments (electrocardiogram, MRI, CT Scan), intensive care units, and elevate the hospital to international standards. The project will be financed with a loan of 75 million euros and a contribution from the Government of Rwanda of 15 million euros.

AFD will also provide a grant of 4 million euros, managed by Expertise France, AFD’s technical cooperation agency, to provide capacity building and trainings for the medical staff, particularly in maternal, gynecological and child health, acute medicine and infectiology, in line with government priorities.

Rural Infrastructure Development for Vulnerable Populations

While Rwanda has made significant progress in local economic development and governance, many remote districts continue to face funding shortfalls, hindering access to public services and livelihoods for the most vulnerable populations.

In cooperation with the German cooperation agency KfW, Luxembourg will also contribute through LuxDev and AFD, the Rwandan government, has launched a multi-donor basket fund to address the specific needs of 16 of the country’s poorest districts.

AFD’s contribution of €16 million to this fund will facilitate de construction of health, education, agriculture, and economic infrastructures. Furthermore, the Basket-fund will enhance the resilience of rural communities to climate change.

This project will also improve the regulatory and operational framework for local economic development (LED) and enhance the capacity of individuals working in this sector.

Commenting on this development, said Arthur Germond, AFD Director in Rwanda said: “Health and climate resilience are two essential pillars of AFD’s interventions in Rwanda. Our commitment is to create real, on-the-ground impact, and we’re dedicated to achieving visible results in 2023 for these new initiatives.

In a promising step, the first cardiologists training kicked off in Kigali in October 2023, and more practitioners will be trained in Ruhengeri by year’s end. It’s an exciting journey, one that holds the promise of enhancing the well-being and resilience of Rwanda’s communities in the face of many future challenges.”

According to French Ambassador to Rwanda, Antoine Anfré, the signing of these two agreements will play a crucial role in upholding France’s commitment of 500 million euros in cooperation with Rwanda.

"The rehabilitation of the Ruhengeri Hospital represents a flagship project within the broader framework of our healthcare partnership, reinforcing our shared dedication to the well-being and prosperity of the Rwandan people,” he highlighted.

“The population growth, epidemiological transition, introduction of universal health coverage and the surrounding tourism context no longer allows Ruhengeri referral Hospital to meet all the population’s needs.

The AFD funding will support construction, rehabilitation and supply of medical equipment. The objective is to provide sustainable access to healthcare for the population of the Northern Province,” said Minister Tusabe.

Both countries were represented during the ceremony.