The African Development Bank and the Government of Rwanda signed a financing agreement amounting to USD 50 million to finance the third phrase of the Skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship Programme III (SEEP III).
The programme will support the government of Rwanda efforts to promote skills in high value added production in key economic sectors such as manufacturing, agro-processing, energy, construction etc. The programme will also strengthen micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurship (MSMEs) contributing to private sector productivity and promoting rapid economic transformation and creation of off-farm jobs particularly among youth and women.
Minister Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Negatu Makonnen, Resident Representative of the African Development Bank Rwanda Country Office signed on behalf of the Government and the Bank respectively.
Gatete acknowledged the long-term partnership that exists between the Government of Rwanda and the Bank in skills development and other areas. He emphasized the importance for skilled labour in order to spur economic transformation in Rwanda and support ‘Made in Rwanda’ agenda which will contribute to Rwanda’s industrialization and exports agenda. Therefore Gatete welcomed the Bank’s continued support in skills and job creation through SEEP III and noted that the programme is focusing on high impact areas of skills and private sector development in line with the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (EDPRS II).
In his remarks, Papias Malimba Musafiri, Minister of Education highlighted that quality skills was critical for employability of youth and acknowledged that SEEP III will accelerate availability of skilled labour force critical for enhancing private sector productivity. He further noted that matching skills and jobs available in the private was a priority for Ministry of Education. Musafiri therefore pledged strong commitment on behalf of other implementing institutions to deliver on the programme successfully in collaboration with the Bank.
Makonnen also echoed on the strong partnership that exist between the Bank and the Government of Rwanda. He also reiterated the critical role of private sector as an engine for economic transformation and the need for skilled labour force which was in short supply in Rwanda. Makonnen said that the SEEP III will contribute to creation of 30,000 off-farm new jobs under the National Employment Programme (NEP) and also contributing to the government’s agenda of creating 200,000 off-farm jobs annually. He then indicated the Bank will remain a privileged and preferred partner; and will continue to support government on its job creation agenda.
Makonnen called on government to seek partnership in the implementation of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) initiative which was launched in May 2016 and aims at creating 25 million jobs for youth on the continent in the next 10 years.