The French Agency for Development and the government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning have signed a €37 million loan and €1.2 million to help the country digitize more public services and support innovation with high development potentials.
With this deal between Rwanda and France many public services, particularly those having direct interactions with citizens’ districts and sector offices, hospitals and other government agencies are set to go digital by the end of this year.
France through AFD is supporting these priorities with a €37 million loan and a €1.2 million grant.
Speaking at the signing event, Financr Minister, Uzziel Ndagijimana, said the financing with AFD will support government of Rwanda’s efforts to modernize the administrative network infrastructure, operationalize a geospatial Center of Excellence and a Drone Operation Center with the objective of improving government’s efficiency and capacity to deliver services.
“It will also support innovation and economic development based on geospatial and drone generated database,” he added.
On other hand, Arthur Germond, AFD’s Director in Rwanda said the AFD’s first financing in Rwanda will enable the delivery of quality public services in key institutions across the country.
“This project will help reduce the access gap between the capital and the rest of the country. It will also make the country more attractive and create economic opportunities in Huye district thanks to support for the drone industry,” he said.
Under Priority Area three of Economic Transformation Pillar of the National Strategy for Transformation One (NST1), Rwanda aims to establish itself as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy including providing high standards, quality services and customer care across public and private sectors.
Sources from the Ministry of Finance and Economic planning said that more citizen-oriented projects are underway to help them access digital services easily.
For instance, Geospatial Hub will also be set up and managed by the Rwanda Space Agency to improve evidence-based development, planning, monitoring and evaluation of public policies in various fields including urban planning, response to natural disasters, health, and agriculture.
AFD will support the drone sector, in which Rwanda has been a global pioneer by financing the construction of a centre of excellence as part of a Drone Operations Center (DOC), in Huye, Southern Province, which will be a place to test new-use cases for the industry.
The DOC will be managed by a private company.
The structuring of this ambitious project was made possible by the D4D Hub, a global digital cooperation of the European Union, which financed the feasibility studies.