Brussels, 29 September 2010
Commissioner Piebalgs' first visit to Rwanda to assess EU's aid impact on the ground and sign €52 million financial agreements on regional cooperation and governance
From 28 to 30 September, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will pay his first visit to Rwanda. He will travel together with Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation Charles Michel, on behalf of the EU Belgian Presidency. They will have bilateral meetings with high level Rwandese authorities. EU Commissioner Piebalgs will take this opportunity to sign two financial agreements, for a total amount of €51.85 million. The first agreement aims at supporting regional road connections and cross-border cooperation in the field of energy and hydropower; the second will support Rwanda to improve public financial management based on sound statistics. EU Commissioner Piebalgs and Belgian Minister Charles Michel will also visit the Commission's and Belgian funded projects to assess the impact of the aid on the ground.
Andris Piebalgs said: "One week after global leaders reaffirmed their ambition to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, I have chosen to visit Rwanda, which is one of the few African countries to be "on track" towards their achievement. It proves that we can do it, and I want to see which concrete impact EU aid has had on the ground. Rwanda also showed that in a peaceful context and with stable institutions, aid can act as a catalyst to create an environment for sustainable and inclusive economic growth".
Signature of Financial Agreements
During his trip the Commissioner will sign two financial agreements:
1. Signature of an agreement for an amount of €45 million to support the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), which brings together Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. The project aims at rehabilitating road connections between 6 neighbouring cities in the three member countries and also by funding CEPGL cooperation in the field of energy and hydropower.
2. Together with Finance Minister John Rwangombwe Commissioner Piebalgs will sign an agreement for an amount of €6, 85 million to support the Statistical Institute and Public Finance Management.
Impact of EU's aid
During their mission Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Michel will visit numerous aid projects to evaluate how development aid works on the ground. The projects funded by the Commission include:
The Belgium funded projects include:
In terms of development, Rwanda is one of the few ACP countries to be "on-track" to achieving most of the MDGS. For the period 2008–13, the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), main EU financial instrument for development aid, allocates €290 million to the country. 60% of the budget (€175M) focuses on social services such as education, health and water. The two priority areas are rural development (€40M) and infrastructure (€50M). Given Rwandan strong performance in implementing the cooperation, up to 75% of the EU aid is disbursed via budget support (general and sectoral).
Rwanda is also one of the countries benefiting from a "Millennium Development Goals-Contract" programme.
See also websites of Commissioner Piebalgs