Rwanda secures Rwf86 billion loan to transform agriculture

Rwanda secures Rwf86 billion loan to transform agriculture

Rwanda has borrowed 10 billion yen (Rwf86 billion) from Japan in order to tackle malnutrition through agriculture transformation.

The loan agreement was signed yesterday between Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Shin Maruo, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at the ministry headquarters in Kigali.

Also present at the signing was the Japanese envoy to Rwanda, Amb. Takayuki Miyashita.

Ndagijimana told reporters that it is a highly concessional loan – extended on terms substantially more generous than market loans – with an interest rate of 0.01 per cent, to be repaid in 40 years, and a 10-year grace period.

Ndagijimana said: “This programme will boost government efforts to modernise our agriculture, an area where Japan has been actively contributing. Cooperation with the government of Japan has been growing strong over the years through project support.”

Ndagijimana said it was the first time the government of Japan was giving Rwanda a loan through budget support.

This, he said, was evidence of the Japanese government’s trust in Rwanda’s budget support modality.

Amb. Miyashita called the deal “revolutional”, considering that it is the largest amount of money they’ve lent to Rwanda.

“We rely on your reliable governance, policy making and [financial] discipline. This is why the government of Japan is supporting Rwanda this much,” he said.

The programme will start in October and run for three years.

Ndagijimana said it will be executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Early Childhood Development Programme, the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre under the supervision of his ministry.

The programme will focus mainly on two components, food security and multi-sectoral coordination.