The Government and the Kingdom of Netherlands, yesterday, signed a financing agreement, worth Euro30 million (about Rwf26 billion), to support basic infrastructure development in districts.
The grant will help create an enabling environment for food security and local economic development, and contribute to the achievement of national targets in poverty reduction and economic development.
It is also in line with the long-term partnership that exists between the Netherlands and Rwanda in the area of decentralisation in general and local economic development in particular since 2007, Amb. Claver Gatete, the minister for finance and economic planning, said during the signing ceremony in Kigali.
“Priority will be given to income generating and economic infrastructure projects, Gatete said, adding that all projects will be selected based on district development plans.
The minister said the grant is in line with the Government’s decentralisation policies and strategies.
More so, the project will allow local government’s to implement local priorities, thus making them also more responsive to the specific local needs and enhancing local accountability, Minister Gatete said.
The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frederique de Man, said the support fits in well with Rwanda’s development programmes and country’s system.
It’s on this account that the Kingdom of Netherlands will continue supporting the country towards achieving its economic objectives as spelt out in the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy and Vision 2020, she said.
A local economic development strategy was adopted by the Government of Rwanda to guide districts in the process of developing their local economies through wealth and job creation.
To fulfill this mandate, districts see the need to invest in infrastructure that make their cities attractive for people and private investors as a critical ingredient towards achieving economic excellence.
Laetitia Nkunda, the director of Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), said eligible investments are those infrastructure projects that fit the district’s specific contexts, and aligned with their economic potentialities and development plans such as market infrastructure, irrigation, community based post-harvest facilities, road infrastructure, agricultural infrastructure (radical terraces) drainage, solid waste management, water and sanitation, access to energy, among others.
All the districts of Rwanda will benefit from this grant with the main focus to the poorest and densely populated districts, she noted.
LODA is a government institution mandated to coordinate the financing of development projects in decentralised entities.