COMESA The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has presented a total of Euros 30.9 million to the Republics of Burundi and Rwanda through the COMESA Adjustment Facility (CAF) which is supported by the European Union. The presentation of the cheques was done on 21st and 22nd February, 2011, in Bujumbura and Kigali respectively.
COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya presented the €8.3 Million and €12.3 Million cheques to the Burundi and Rwandan Governments. The cheques were received by the Minister of Commerce, Industry, Post and Tourism, Victoire Ndikumana in Bujumbura, Burundi, while the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. John Rwangombwa, received the funds on behalf of the Rwandan government in Kigali, Rwanda. In September 2009, Rwanda received €10.3 Million from the CAF while Burundi received € 4.4 million.
The funds were drawn from the COMESA Adjustment Facility which is supported by the European Union through the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) under the 9th EDF programme. Mr Ngwenya reiterated his organization’s appreciation to the European Union that has been a long time partner of COMESA in the regional integration process.
The support provided is in recognition of the achievements made by Burundi and Rwanda for the intermediate short-term effects of implementing the East African Community Common External Tariff (EAC CET). The funds complete a compensation package for the total revenue loss accruing from the implementation of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET) in the financial year 2009/10.
Speaking at the ceremony in Bujumbura, Minister Ndikumana said the funds would be used to develop the economy of the country and help address social infrastructures like schools and hospitals in the country. She also added that people would also be given the opportunity to realize the benefits of regional integration.
And speaking during the ceremony in Kigali on 22nd February 2011, Minister Rwangombwa pointed out that regional integration is a priority for the government to support the private sector-led growth adding that Rwanda is committed to deepening integration even further through implementation of the regional programmes of both COMESA and EAC.
Rwanda becomes the highest beneficiary of the COMESA Adjustment Facility having received €10.3 Million in 2009 bringing the total support provided to Rwanda to € 22.6 million Euros. Burundi has in total received € 12.7 million from the CAF.
During the same function, the government of Rwanda also signed two financing agreements with the European Union (EU) worth 26 million Euros, whereby the latter will provide sector budget support for social protection and support trade, regional integration and business development respectively.
Mr. Michel Arrion, the Head of the EU Delegation, said during the signing ceremony that the programmes encourage the efforts of the government of Rwanda to accelerate poverty reduction, in particular, extreme poverty.
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