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October 13, 2008

Rwanda receives $135 million World Bank agricultural development loan

The World Bank has granted the government of Rwanda about $135 million as part of the total Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) to boost agricultural development for the 2009-2012 fiscal years.

The bank's country representative, Victoria Kwakwa, said at the official launch of the second phase of Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) in Kigali that that agriculture was a key driver of Rwanda’s economy as it provides over 80% employment and 75% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“Agriculture is important in Rwanda’s poverty reduction program. For example in year 2005-2006, Rwanda experienced service and industrial development but because there was no agricultural development, poverty levels did not reduce,” Kwakwa noted.

With the assistance of the World Bank, the government of Rwanda launched the first RSSP phase in 2001 in order to contribute to the national goal of alleviating poverty in the country by revitalizing the rural economy, thereby increasing rural income and reinforcing national stability.

The first phase of the project ran from 2001-2007 and the World Bank offered US$48 million, while the second phase that runs from 2009-2012 has a total grant envelop of about US$135 million.

The Rural sector support project is designed to last for seventeen years, 2001-2018 and will be conducted in three phases.

African Press Agency

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