Kagame’s Chinese And Indian Visitors Loaned Him $326 Million For Good Projects — Great News For A Change

By David Himbara

President Paul Kagame waving goodbye to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Back-to-back in July 2018, President Paul Kagame received leaders of world’s 2nd and 6th largest economies — China’s President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, respectively. The two visiting heads of state signed with the Kagame government loans totaling US$326 Million.

Indian loans are for irrigation development

The Indian portion of the financing is a US$200 Million loan to support two projects — namely, irrigation and developing economic zones. As the Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, explained, “with India we signed a loan of $100 million for irrigation in three separate areas in the country and $100 million for developing special economic zones.”

Kagame receiving Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 22, 2018.

Chinese loans are for roads

For his part, China’s President Xi Jinping signed two loans worth US$126 Million. The two loans are for road construction. Finance Minister Ndagijimana stated that ”with China we signed a loan agreement of 76 million dollars for the road from Huye to Kibeho and for the new Bugesera airport access road it is 50 million dollars.”

These are good projects — unlike the usual Kagame mega white elephants.

The forgotten Rwanda Irrigation Master Plan

Kibeho roads in the rain season

Let us hope that the US$200 Million Indian loan will revive the long-dead Rwanda Irrigation Master Plan currently gathering dust in the agriculture ministry. The Chinese loan should finally tarmac the long-neglected Kibeho-Huye road that traps this part of Rwanda into poverty.