Monday, April 07, 2014 

Rwanda to spend $30m fund

KIGALI, Rwanda - Money accumulated over nearly two years under the Agaciro Development Fund (AGDF) is being earmarked for expenditure. 

This Solidarity fund  was launched in August 2012 for voluntary contributions by Rwandans and anyone else  inclined to support the country. ‘Agaciro’ is a Kinyarwanda word loosely meaning ‘Dignity’.

Vianney Kagabo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AGDF Corporate Trust Limited told East African Business Week, “So far, the fund has collected over Rwf21.1billion (just over $30 million) which will be put to use by the 2014 through selected corporate trustees very soon.”

He said last week, “The Agaciro Development has been legally registered as a Corporate Trust by the Cabinet and all operations will be conducted within the confines of the Trust Law, which confers to Trustees the responsibility of the Trust’s development as well as operations.”

This fund was basically set up as a  home-grown solution to improving Rwanda’s financial autonomy.

Kagabo said such funds are collected through a variety of complementary tools that are aimed at raising money for the fund’s growth such as fundraising, tax allocation, website, mobile money donations, and promotional materials.

“Voluntary contributions from Rwandans and friends of Rwanda are donated via the existing AGDF accounts in commercial banks and these are eventually transferred to the AGDF account at the National Bank of Rwanda, the custodian of the fund,” he said.

According to Kagabo,  the Cabinet meeting of September 11, 2013 decided that the AGDF be  established as Rwanda’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is defined as a pool of money derived from a country’s reserves set aside for investment purposes that will benefit the country’s economy and citizens.

“AGDF therefore relies mainly on Rwanda’s very unique resources who are its people,” Kagabo said.

He said The AGDF will therefore be sustained by a variety of fundraisers, as well as the commitment of the government to dedicate 1% to  3 % of annual tax revenues to the fund, in addition to the professional investments’ returns expected to complement this financing base.

The AGDF provides Rwandans with a mechanism to contribute directly to their nation’s development. “Pursuing self-reliance, the country seeks to protect itself from eventual economic shocks,” Kagabo said.

By Agnes Bateta, Monday, April 07th, 2014