When during his monthly press conference last week President Kagame was asked how Rwanda will cope with the aid cuts by some donors, he replied that the country has been making continuous efforts to become self-sufficient, referring for example to the Agaciro Development Fund, the creation of which was decided during the 2011 National dialogue, well before there was question of any aid cuts.
While in the weeks following the Fund's launch on August 23 last year, there was a rush of companies, institutions and individuals to make their contribution, off late there has been less talk about Agaciro. Yet officials at the ministry of finance say that things are going well, and that the fund will be ready for use by the start of the next financial year in July.
"Currently, the Fund has Frw 13 billion in cash, out of the Frw 26 billion pledged," says Fidele Ngerero, the Agaciro technical advisor at Minecofin. "We expect that come July, the fund will be operational with the necessary legal framework in place."
Asked what the money will be used for, Ngerero replied the ministry is in the process of establishing the legal framework that will govern the fund. "This money will be channeled into the national treasury," he explains, adding that the fund will be managed competitively and will uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency and accountability.
"Through the legal framework the AgDF will establish a board of trustees as well as fund managers who will invest in selected high-return and high-socioeconomic-impact investments intended to introduce social development in the country," he says.