The New Times (Kigali)

26 May 2014

Rwanda: Deals Inked At the AfDB Meetings

Apart from the high level deliberations by participants on the "Africa we want" and how to achieve it, the weeklong African Development Bank (AfDB) meetings also presented an opportunity for signing deals between governments and international organisations.

Rwanda was a beneficiary of three such deals to the tune of about Rwf 17.2 billion.

The ongoing rural electrification programme in Burera and Nyagatare districts got a boost after a loan agreement between the government and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea).

The agreement which was signed last week on Tuesday evening by finance and economic planning minister Ambassador Claver Gatete, and the Director General of the Bank, Abdelaziz Khelef, saw Rwanda secure $11.2million (about Rwf7.6 billion) in support of the programme.

The concessional loan is repayable over 30 years with a 10-year grace period at an interest of one per cent per annum.

Through the Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda signed an agreement with the International Trade Centre to co-organise this year's World Export Development Forum (WEDF), an annual global event organised to help small and medium enterprises access global markets.

The event scheduled to take place from September 16 to 17, will be the highlight of the organisation's 50th anniversary and the first to be held in Africa since the organisation's inception.

The forum is expected to bring together over 400 top policy makers, business leaders, heads of trade support institutions and international organisations from around the world to discuss ways to achieve trade-led inclusive sustainable development through entrepreneurship, increased competitiveness of SMEs, employment and economic growth.

A series of business events will also be held on the sidelines of the forum.

The agreement was seen as a huge step towards Rwanda's ambitions of becoming a leading destination for conferences and meetings.

On the last day of the meeting, on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, Amb. Gatete signed another financing agreement with The Saudi Fund for Development worth $14 million (about Rwf9.6 billion) for the construction of a 53.5 km Huye-Kitabi road that links Rwanda to DR Congo and Burundi.

The road will connect Huye, Nyamagabe, Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts in the Western and Southern provinces.

Since the road connects the country to two countries (Burundi and DRC), it is expected to help boost cross-border trade as well as access to production zones and markets, especially for agricultural products.

Still on the sidelines of the meeting, the African Development Bank and the Chinese government signed the biggest fund the Chinese government has ever signed off to Africa since the beginning of Chinese cooperation with African countries.

The $2 billion (about Rwf 1.5 trillion) financing agreement will be used to set up an Africa-wide investment vehicle dubbed, "Africa Growing Together Fund."

The deal was signed by AfDB president Dr Donald Kaberuka and the Governor of Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan,

The resources from the AGTF are expected to be provided over a 10-year period and will be used alongside the AfDB's resources to finance eligible sovereign and non-sovereign guaranteed development projects in Africa.

Kaberuka said the agreement showed china's commitment to Africa's development agenda.

Nigeria also signed a $ 100 million financing agreement with Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) at the behest of the Government of India.

The agreement in the form of a Line of Credit (LOC) of $ 100 million is expected to fund power generation and distribution projects.

It was signed by Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman & Managing Director on behalf of Exim Bank and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria.

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