The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Fresh Boost for Tvet, Decentralisation

Rwanda and Germany yesterday signed two financing project agreements worth Rwf9.8 billion for Technical and Vocational Education Training and decentralisation.

The first agreement, worth Rwf3.6 billion, will support continued priority development and infrastructure projects in all districts countrywide through the Rwanda Local Development Support Fund, while the second agreement, worth Rwf6.3 billion, will support Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) reforms through select institutions.

"This funding is very important considering it will promote development which is in line with achieving the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy," said Amb. Claver Gatete, the minister for finance and economic planning, after signing the deal yesterday.

Amb. Gatete said Rwanda is trying its best to promote skills development that can sustain economic development and that it was also important to improve the living conditions of the people in rural areas so that they can carry out their income generating projects smoothly.

"Rwanda Local Development Support Fund will assist districts in project preparation, including the planning and budgeting process, monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the local level projects on the population," he said.

The minister added that priority will be given to income-generating and economic infrastructure projects that are also based on the districts' development plans.

The results-oriented financing, which will be disbursed through the German Development Bank will see the involvement of private TVETs in the future.

"The purpose is to increase the number of qualified graduates in the selected TVET institutions and, more generally, the sustainable self-employment of skilled labour in the country," said Amb. Gatete.

The German Development Bank has been supporting decentralisation through local infrastructure investments since 2006 and has financed individual projects such as schools, health centres, electrification, roads and bridges, markets and terracing worth Rwf21 billion to-date.

Peter Fahrenholtz, the German ambassador to Rwanda, said this would lead to formation of various small and medium enterprises as the training and experience students would get from technical and vocational schools would make them experts in their respective careers.

"In Germany, we value hands-on skills. When you become a master in your craft after vocational training, you are open to earning more money," he said.

Amb. Fahrenholtz said vocational training cuts across all sectors, including banking and insurance, and urged Rwandans to specialise in their professions.

Rwanda has embarked on a campaign to promote technical and vocational training, especially among the youth.

The government says conventional education system does not guarantee employment.

"These days there are vocational courses in banking, insurance and others. You can go to university get a degree, then masters but you will still need training on how to become an insurance agent for you to become an expert," Fahrenholtz said.

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