Yesterday, the African Development Bank approved US$ 39.44-million to be used in the Rwanda Skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship Programme (SEEP). The programme, which was designed in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and other development partners, will support specific sector budget lines of the financial year 2012/13 budget.
SEEP’s overarching goal is to support the Government’s policy reform efforts aimed at promoting inclusive growth and accelerating poverty reduction. SEEP supports the implementation of catalytic programmes in the education, employment and enterprise development sectors. The programme focuses on two areas: skills and employability and entrepreneurship development.
In particular, SEEP will contribute to the Government’s efforts to reduce critical skills gaps, improve the relevance of education to the labor market and create an environment conducive to innovative entrepreneurship.
Mr. Negatu Makonnen, Resident Representative of the AfDB Rwanda Country Office said that SEEP beneficiaries will include youth, women and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Youth and women comprise 40% and 52% of the population respectively while SMEs account for over 90% of private sector establishments and employ the majority of the population.
“Therefore, the African Development Bank’s support through the SEEP will directly contribute to inclusive growth and reduction of the balance of payments and fiscal deficits. This will also contribute to a reduction in Rwanda’s high dependence on foreign aid over the medium term,” he emphasized.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete underlined that the funding will contribute to enhancing private sector development through bridging the critical skills gap that has been and is still a challenge. “The programme is in alignment with our EDPRS II aspirations particularly addressing issues of productivity and youth employment.”