The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Board yesterday approved $39.44 million to help in developing the Skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship Programme (SEEP) in Rwanda.
The initiative created to support specific sectors in the country’s budget of 2012/13 was mapped out in partnership with Rwanda and her development partners, according to AfDB.
The continental bank was among development partners that had frozen or cut aid to Rwanda over allegations that the latter was supporting a rebel group in DRC – which Kigali vehemently denied. Most of these donors have since released their financial support.
The SEEP aims to boost Rwanda’s policy reforms for inclusive growth and poverty eradication programmes.
Negatu Makonnen, the AfDB Rwanda resident representative, said “the SEEP beneficiaries will include youth, women and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Reducing critical gaps skills:
“The bank’s plan is to directly contribute to inclusive growth and reduction of the Balance of Payments and fiscal deficits that will lead to a reduction in Rwanda’s high dependence on foreign aid over the medium term,” he noted.
Makonnen observed that young people and women comprise 40 per cent and 52 per cent of the population respectively while SMEs account for over 90 per cent of private sector establishments and employ the majority of the population.
According to SEEP, the programme targets to reduce critical skills gaps and improve the relevance of education in relation to the labour market.
Recently AfDB gave Development Bank of Rwanda with US$8 million Line of Credit (LoC) to support BRD lending to the agriculture, agro-processing, telecommunication, education and tourism infrastructure sectors in Rwanda.