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The government will get up to Euros460 million (about Rwf420 billion) from the European Union to fund specific sectors of the National Budget for 2014 to 2020.

Achim Tillessen, the head of EU’s delegation in the country, revealed this yesterday during a Cooperation Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) meeting in Kigali that was attended by government officials and EU envoys.

During the review meeting, government officials and donors assessed the progress made in the implementation of the current phase of funding, the 10th EDF and addressed challenges that are likely to mar the next financing cooperation.

The 10th European Development Funding for Rwanda, which was worth Euros 429 million, started in 2008 and was to run up to 2013.

Most of the projects that government committed itself to implement are reportedly in their last phases of execution, according to officials.

Priority areas that benefited from the funding included rural development, infrastructure for regional interconnectivity, regional intergration and support to non-state actors.

One such project is the rehabilitation of the Kigali-Gatuna road a project that received Euros57 million in funding.

Budget execution

During the review, it was noted that budget execution performance currently stands at 65 per cent but the project is reportedly ‘on course.’

The rehabilitation of the road started in January 2012 and is expected to be completed by March 2016.

Another project is the rehabilitation of a heavy trucks bridge on Rusizi River and the Cyangugu urban roads, which started in May 2010.

Although works should have been completed by December 2012, the project’s budget execution stands at just 60 per cent and an application for extension of the completion period is under negotiation.

The project got Euros3 million in funding of which only Euros 1.8 million has been spent so far with the rest pending certification of works.

“On a whole, we are impressed by the efforts put into the implementation of the projects that we are funding, that’s why we are increasing the funding package under the 11 EDF between 2014 and 2020,” EU’s Tillessen told The New Times.

Financing critical sectors

Ronald Nkusi, the director of external finance at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said the money will finance critical sectors that directly feed into the second Economic Development and Poverty Eradication Strategy (EDPRS II) goals and will be channeled through budgetary support for specific sectors.

“Funding under the 11th European Development Fund’s National Indicative Plan (EDF-NIP) will go towards financing the agreed priorities that include agriculture, energy and good governance programmes,” Nkunsi said.

Initially, the 10th EDF package for Rwanda was just Euros290 million but the government was allocated additional funds that saw the financing totalling to €429 million as a result of a satisfactory mid-term review.

Delving into allocation details of the upcoming package, Tillessen revealed that programmes in the agricultural and energy sectors will each get Euros200 million, while another Euros40 million to Euros50 million will go to funding governance activities with civil society getting around Euros10 million.

Signing of the new cooperation agreement between government and the EU is expected in October.

The New Times