Funding Rwanda's 'aid-free future'

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning John Rwangombwa. Photo by: World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA

Rwanda is working out the details of a fund that has the potential to complement government resources, showing just how determined the embattled African nation is in getting off foreign support.

The creation of the Agaciro Development Fund could not have come at a more critical time for Rwanda. The country is currently in hot water over allegations that it supported the M23 rebels that are causing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an issue that has prompted some donors to suspend or delay budget support for the African nation.

Donors’ decisions caught the ire of many Rwandans, and foreign affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo called for an end to “this child-to-parent relationship.”

The fund aims to mobilize “voluntary” resources from Rwandans, including the diaspora community, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning John Rwangombwa said. It has already received support from the Rwandan government, The New Times reports.

The director general of Freshpak Rwanda Ltd., a company exporting horticulture products, even said, “Rwandans should seize the opportunity and help the country build an aid-free future.”

It remains to be seen if the fund will be sufficient enough for the government to no longer depend on foreign support, which covers close to 50 percent of the national budget. But it seems to be winning support from Rwandans, with some having already made deposits to banks targeted for the fund, unidentified sources told The New Times.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.