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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

AfDB – A key contributor in Rwanda’s development

Committing to Rwanda’s endeavor for improving skills, entrepreneurship and employment, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan worth US $76 million (Approximately 51.68 Billion) to the country. Confirming to a statement from the African Development Bank, the loan will fund a program to support the development skills, employability and entrepreneurship (SEEP II) in the country which will cover three financial years; 2013 /14, 2014/13 and 2015 /16 respectively.

Commenting on it, Isaac Lobe Ndoumbe, Bank's head of operations office articulated that the basis for the approval of the loan was Rwanda being a model in terms of competitiveness. He added, "The support of the ADB directly contributes to the competitiveness of Rwanda, inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Rwanda has made significant progress in the development of skills and labor, which today are more responsive to the demands of the labor market, while promoting job creation for young people. These advances, through which the private sector is now more involved in the education and technical and vocational training, facilitate access to counseling services for businesses - particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) - while improving entrepreneurial skills via incubators established.”

At present, the main priority and challenge for the country is to enhance labor productivity, to create decent jobs and diminish underemployment that is estimated at about 58 percent (63 percent for youths). Rugwabiza Minega Leonard, chief economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning stated that the loan will elevate the country's efforts to execute medium-term strategy for EDPRII. Further, he conveyed, "The Government of Rwanda appreciates this support. It is timely and will strengthen its efforts to implement medium-term strategy for economic development and poverty reduction - the EDPRS 2.”

The programme will prove profitable mainly for the young women and men. Presently, 40 percent of registered entrepreneurs are women who signify 52 percent of the country's population. Rugwabiza praised the bank's mounting partnership with the government of Rwanda especially in backing its development journey. He expressed, "This program shows, once again, the close ties between the Bank and Rwanda. Over the past 40 years, the commitment of the Bank to the Republic of Rwanda totals to more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars."

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