The European Union (EU) and the Government of Rwanda on October 4, 2013 signed a financing agreement worth €40 million (Rwf 35.3 billion) to support rehabilitation and maintenance of 700 km of rural feeder roads.
The funding of the Sector policy for rural feeder roads is to contribute to poverty reduction through the promotion of equitable and inclusive economic growth within the framework of decentralization.
According to Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of EU Delegation to Rwanda, “It is essential for farmers to be able to take their products to local markets.”
Arrion said an improved network of feeder roads will reduce transport costs and have an immediate effect on food security in Rwanda.
He observed that the new programme is an important contribution in helping Rwanda fight poverty and hunger. The country has made considerable progress but a lot remains to be done.
On behalf of EU he assured Rwanda that the EU is fully committed to support Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and increasing food security.
Funding will also improve consumer access to affordable food as well as access of food producers to markets, thereby contributing to strengthened food security.
The project specific is to support the implementation of rural feeder roads network policies and strategies at local level, by helping set up a sustainable system and reinforcing the capacities of local government in this domain.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete said the deal will make it easier for food producers to reach their market.
“This will improve food accessibility in Rwanda is by improving the road network of rural secondary roads that link to major roads,” said Gatete.
The funding will make food more affordable for consumers and strengthening food security in general.
Hon. Gatete said sustained development cooperation as well as the current agreement to be signed illustrates, once again, the mutual trust and excellent relations shared by the European Commission and the Government of Rwanda”.
Hon. Gatete further noted that rehabilitating rural roads would boost trade and ease transport.
The new €40 m programme will also provide technical support to prepare, among other things, standards for rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads and a manual of procedures for local authorities.
“In addition, the project will provide training to Districts, Ministry staff and private sector companies on road rehabilitation and general procurement,” said ambassador Arrion.
“The implementation will be a mix of sector budget support (€36m) and technical assistance (€4m),” Arrion added.