By David Himbara
“Agaciro” is a Kinyarwanda word that means “Dignity.” As applied by General Paul Kagame, the term ”Agaciro” is a rejection of foreign aid dependency and a self-reliance agenda for building a prosperous Rwanda. In Kagame’s own words, ”assistance by other people is like anesthesia; both offer temporary relief.”
Agaciro Development Fund (AGDF) was born in that context — it is Rwanda’s sovereign wealth fund conceived as a vehicle for self-financing. AGDF was initiated at the 9th Umushyikirano (National Dialogue Council) in December 2011, and officially launched by Kagame in 2012. To mobilize financial resources, AGDF invests both domestically and internationally. Its portfolio is presently invested in fixed income government securities, term deposits and equities. The New Times’ latest big lie is that AGDF has US$100 million untapped.
How has Agaciro Development Fund performed since 2012?
According to The New Times, ”Rwanda’s Agaciro Fund continues to grow and has clinched the USD 100 million mark. This money is untapped.” This is a big lie. The AGDF’s 2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements indicate that its total fund is RWF50,384,971,000 or US$55.5 million. AGDF’s income in 2017/18 was RWF8,522,298,658 or US$9.4 million. Meanwhile, foreign aid to Rwanda has increased over the past decade. Foreign aid to Rwanda rose from US$878 million in 2012 to US$1.2 billion in 2017.
Dear New Times, stop lying.
Dear New Times, to make your propaganda more effective, try to do a bit of research, please. Agaciro has accumulated a miserable US$55.7 million in seven years. Even if AGDF had accumulated US$100 million in the past seven years as you lied, still that would be peanuts. That is a drop in the sea compared to US$1.2 billion Rwanda receives in foreign donations.