Kigali, Wednesday, March 21, 2018: Rwanda is set to access additional financing of €832,615 for implementing regional integration programmes. This is part of the support provided to the country under the COMESA Adjustment Facility (CAF) funded from the 10th European Development Fund, Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) programme.
This follows the signing of the funding addendum by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Claver Gatete, and the Secretary General of COMESA, Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya.
Secretary General said the resources being committed today are the last available under the framework of the EU funded RISM programme. “This is why I am challenging us today to set aside counterpart funding from our national budgets to support regional integration programmes and ensure sustainability of the efforts put in place through CAF funding,” Mr. Ngwenya said.
He said the funds will be used implement the adjustment programmes which aim to expand exports into COMESA and beyond, strengthen the local capacity at both institutional and small and medium enterprises level and implement some of the country’s commitments under COMESA.
Hon. Gatete appreciated the support to Rwanda noting that “The Grant will contribute towards regional integration efforts such as further reduction of non-tariff barriers as well as facilitate smooth cross border trade. COMESA is our valued partner in regional integration and we look forward to more partnerships
Rwanda was awarded the funds by the COMESA Fund Ministerial Committee, held in Lusaka in December 2017. This followed a positive assessment of Rwanda’s achievements in its commitments on regional indicators under the programme.
Among these are: the operationalization of a National Trade Policy Forum; removal of 13 Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) since 2011 and adoption of 253 Harmonized EAC standards since 2013 and the signing of a protocol with DR Congo establishing a Simplified Trade Regime (STR) between their small-scale traders.
In addition, Rwanda has submitted a final schedule of commitment in four key priority services sectors and liberalized Air Transport in accordance with COMESA legal notice No.2 of 1999.