World Bank gives Rwanda $150m toward market-relevant skills

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The World Bank and Rwandan government Wednesday signed a $150 million financing agreement toward Rwanda’s acquisition of quality, market-relevant skills in selected economic sectors.

Half of the financing is grant while the other is a concessional loan payable in 38 years, with a 6-year grace period at 0.75 percent interest rate, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said in a statement.

The project is expected to increase access to technical and vocational education and training as well as higher education programs that are responsive to both labor market needs and the social and economic development of Rwanda, it said.

 “Skills development and employment promotion are central to Rwanda´s National Strategy for Transformation. Equipping the workforce with the right skills for economic transformation is central to our long term development objectives, so this support will contribute to upskill Rwanda’s workforce for long-term economic transformation,” said Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

Ruth Karimi Charo, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project said the targeted interventions for skills development will support Rwanda’s efforts to establish a strong base for skills needed in the productive sector, and equip the youth with relevant practical and technical skills to increase their chances of sustainable employability.

The proposed Rwanda Priority Skills for Growth project has four components including Reinforcing Governance of the Skills Development System, Provision of Quality Training Programs with Market-relevance;  Expanding Opportunities for Continuous Upgrading of Job-relevant Skills for Sustained Employability, and Capacity Building for Program Implementation.

It will also strengthen private sector capacity through targeted firm level support, improve access to markets for micro, small and large enterprises, increase employment mainstreaming in investment and bilateral projects; expand access to evidence-based information on skills demand and supply and access to labour market Information and employment services.

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