Friday, 24 August 2012

Rwanda : Agaciro Development Fund Gets Big Boost At Launch

Untitled2 Rwanda : Agaciro Development Fund gets big boost at launch
The Agaciro Development Fund which was officially launched this Thursday August 23 has been boosted by individuals, private companies and organizations through in a massive fundraising drive that was attended by President Paul Kagame.
At the close of the event which attracted people of all walks of lives, a total of Rwf1.2 billion had been collected in both cash and pledges.
Speaking at the launch, President Kagame said that the burden of developing the country primarily lies in the hands of Rwandans themselves.
What is Agaciro Development Fund?
The Agaciro Development Fund is a solidarity fund that has been initiated by Rwandans to deal with the increasingly unpredictable levels of financing received by donors.
According to the Minister of Finance and Economic planning John Rwangombwa however, the fund is not coming to substitute the existing funds but rather to supplement it.
The president in his address also echoed the same and said that the fund does not come to change the relationship with others (donors) but rather to strengthen the value in the relationship.
“The uniqueness of the fund is that it is Rwandans themselves that will finance it.  It will join other existing funds meant to finance Rwanda’s development programmes,” says Rwangombwa.
The establishment of the fund was first mooted in last year’s Umushyikirano meeting where it was agreed that a mutual fund be put in place specifically to finance rural development as a way of fast tracking Vision 2020.
Recent threats from donor countries led to many Rwandans to call for the immediate establishment of the fund giving it the ‘Agaciro’ name loosely translated as self value.
What will the funds do?
The Agaciro Development Fund will likely not be able to raise the levels of funding needed to cover budgetary support, but it sets the tone that Rwandans will work together to drive their own development; giving the entire Rwandan population a level of direct ownership in the nation’s projects.
At the end of every year, citizens will, through their representatives, come together to determine developmental programmes the funds can be used for.
Who will contribute into it?
Funding for Agaciro can be done by every individual Rwandan voluntarily. It can also be done by Rwandans living in the diaspora and friends of Rwanda. Rwangombwa says that no one will be obliged to contribute to it, but it remains voluntary.
How will the contributions put in the fund?
The Ministry of Finance has opened three accounts in the name of ‘Agaciro Development Fund” in the three banks namely; The National Bank of Rwanda, Bank of Kigali and Banque Populaire. People are encouraged to deposit their contributions in these banks.
The Ministry has also made an arrangement with the three telecom companies (MTN, Tigo, Airtel) where people will be sending money to the fund which can be deducted from their airtime.
How the fund will be managed?
The management of the solidarity fund according to Minister Rwangombwa will be managed like any other public finance funds.
“This is public funds. It will be followed up by the Ministry of Finance, but we shall also have to put in place proper management in the near future. This team will be charged with the day today management of the fund.
Commenting on the management issue, president Kagame called for transparency and channels through which people’s questions will be answered.


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