AfDB earmarks US$84m for skills and business development in Rwanda

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$84.3m loan to finance a Skills and Business Development Programme (SBDP) in Rwanda.

The program will promote reforms, boost domestic production and create about 200,000 jobs annually.

Rwanda’s economic performance remains strong averaging 6.8% % of GDP growth per annum since 2013. The country has also made progress in creating 150,000 off-farm jobs every year since 2014.

However, the private sector which is the engine for job creation is not creating enough jobs to absorb the 200,000 youth entering the labour market annually because of the proliferation of unproductive businesses with low survival rates.

The Government of Rwanda is keen on developing a competitive private sector and create jobs for young people in order to achieve its ambitious development agenda.

In line with the AfDB High 5 priorities, the Skills and Business Development Programme (SBDP) will support 100 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 500 cooperatives by 2020 that are expected to increase and improve the quality of their products, and generate much needed revenue.

Women and youth who constitute about 52% and 27% of the population respectively, will benefit through the Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs), the main source of financing for rural SMEs, and productive cooperatives which serve over one million women and youth.

SBDP was developed jointly by the African Development Bank and the Government of Rwanda in close consultation with the private sector and other key development partners (Germany, Sweden, USA, European Union, DFID, World Bank, JICA and MasterCard Foundation)

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