Agaciro Fund close to Frw 18 billion
Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Planning, John Rwangombwa yesterday expressed his appreciation to Rwandans for their spirit and commitment towards the ongoing contribution to Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF) that has raised Frw 17.9 billion in less than one month.
“This is a big achievement,” he pointed out. “We really appreciate the speed and thank Rwandans for the spirit and commitment they have shown during such a time.”
Rwangobya expressed the appreciation in a press conference in Kigali to disclose the status of the fund and its way forward.
Apart from individual contributions through three opened accounts in BK, BPR and BNR, the minister revealed that even people in Diaspora have already embarked on the move though they started a bit late. He for instance said that Tanzania-based Diaspora recently collected US$ 70,000. He also said that they expect to get a lot from the upcoming Rwanda Day that will take place in Boston, USA on September 21 and 22.
Contribution collected through SMS so far amounts to Frw 2,029,000, he noted, adding that they are on progress with technical work to allow SMS contributions bigger than the current Frw 500.
“We thank what has been done, but also encourage Rwandans to continue this spirit,” Rwangombwa said. “Rwanda is the only country where citizens really come out to dignify themselves because this fund of dignity trends to voluntarily contribute to development.”
Agaciro –meaning dignity – was officially launched on August 23 with an idea to scale up national development through domestic solutions rather than foreign aid.
The minister said that part of the UK aid to Rwanda, that had been suspended, reached Rwanda’s account last week after that the British government recently decided to unfreeze it.
Concerning the usage of the fund, the minister explained that a sum of the amount will be injected in big activities that are likely to accelerate national rural development while another potion will be invested in ‘liquid assets’ for long term projects so that it can be used later. Plans on usage though will decided during national dialogue in December. Next year’s campaign to raise funds kicks off in July.
“It’s a long journey, but the spirit behind the activity is more important than the money collected,” Rwangombwa pointed out. “The spirit shows how Rwandans are keen to build their country using their own means.”