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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Rwf13 billion to help in developing e-Health at University of Rwanda

The Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), signed a financial agreement worth $18 million (about Rwf13 billion).

The financial support, a concessional loan, will support the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering and e-Health (CEBE) at the University of Rwanda (UR). Speaking after the signing ceremony in Kigali, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Amb.

Economic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete, said the support will contribute to the development of relevant and highly skilled workforce in biomedical sciences to help meet East African Community’s immediate labour market needs.

It will also support the implementation of EAC’s ‘free’ labour market protocols.

“We need to create centres of excellence in science and medicine that will boost skills, equipment, infrastructure not only in the health sector but also in socio-economic development,” Amb. Gatete added.

The CEBE Rwanda will be part of the EAC network of centres of excellence and will target students from the partner states.

The institute will provide leadership in training, research and preventive maintenance services to cater for regional needs.

One of the key pillars of CEBE is to strengthen the synergy between the academia, the government and the private sector while harnessing the transformational power of biomedical engineering and ICT for cost-effective service provision and job creation.

The CEBE will seek ways to ensure development of e-Health tools and systems within the region.

Negatu Makonnen, AfDB country representative, said the project will contribute to the development of relevant and skilled workforce in biomedical sciences.

“We expect the outcomes to include improved access to timely, affordable and quality specialised biomedical services in the region, but also specialised tertiary education in this sector.”

“What we have signed today brings the overall AfDB commitment to $656 million and is primarily focused on infrastructure, finance, energy and transport sectors,” he added. Prof. James McWha, the vice-chancellor of the University of Rwanda, said the project brings value, noting that as “our health improves so is the opportunity to improve the economy.”

AfDB Country Strategy Paper (CSP) is aligned to Rwanda’s Vision 2020 and the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy. The current CSP (2012- 2016) focuses on infrastructure (energy, transport, agriculture, water and sanitation) and private sector development.

Infrastructure accounts for 69.3 per cent of the total commitments.

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