Donors Commit to Support Rwanda's Budget
The Monitor (Kampala)

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Kezio-Musoke David

Rwanda's Ministry of Finance and Economic planning has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the country's top donors that commit them to continue supporting the Rwandan budget.

The donors that signed the Budget Support Memorandum of Understanding with Rwanda government include the European Union (EU), the World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADB). Minister of Finance and Economic Planning James Musoni said the MoU was significant for both partners because there were specific programs to be presented to the donors before they pledge budget support.

Mr Musoni said that the donors also have to assure the recipients, on the time frame and the criteria they will use when disbursing the money, after which a commitment is agreed between the two.

"I am very happy to have signed this MoU that approves the direction of our budget framework between the government and our donor partners. We are equally delighted to see the budget support partners express their commitment to this level. This is a promising stage our economy has reached," Mr Musoni said.

The EU Ambassador to Rwanda, David Macrae, who headed the European delegation, "We are putting Rwanda in those countries with the most developed partnerships with the corporate world." "Before a country's budget is supported, considerations like domestic accountability, whether the economy is well managed, mutual commitments in terms of peace, security, respect for human rights and democratic principles, are first assessed," he added.

The next stage will see partners engaged in discussions, where each one of them will make specific budgetary commitments. According to the Rwandan budget framework paper 2008-2010 the World Bank and United Kingdom based Department for International Development (DFID) were the biggest supporters of the 49 per cent foreign aid that was raised for the 2008 budget.

Both World Bank and DFID committed themselves with $60m while the European Commission pledged $24m to support the budget.

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The signing of the MoU was last week preceded last week's World Bank approval of $560m for development under the Country Assistance Strategy. The CAS is a World Bank's document that aims at supporting countries to achieve their development goals.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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