Rwanda and the European Union (EU) Wednesday signed a financing agreement for 10 million euros (about Rwf10.8bn) to support the country’s private sector development and job creation.
The grant is part of the 460 million euro package of support to Rwanda for the period running until end of 2020, a statement issued by the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said.
“The program will address Rwanda’s needs to create employment opportunities for its youth. Activities will focus on two sub-sectors, namely the digital economy and tourism hospitality, which have the potential for rapid, sustainable private sector growth and job creation,” the statement said.
“The effects of COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected the private sector operations which in turn led to job losses and affected livelihoods. The EU support will contribute to easing this burden through provision of market relevant skills as well enhancing technological innovations,” Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said in the statement.
This is particularly more relevant to the current situation where the tourism and hospitality sector has been the most impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, the head of the EU Delegation to Rwanda.
“In addition, the current crisis has demonstrated that without a strong digital sector, it is difficult to adapt to the new world normal; that is why this program is so timely to fill the gaps within the digital ecosystem in Rwanda,” said Bellomo.
The projects are expected to make an important contribution to the government’s target of creating 1.5 million decent jobs by 2024, according to the ministry.