Kigali, May 19 2011

President Kagame today received in his office the Chairperson of Education For All – Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI), Ms. Carol Bellamy who paid him a courtesy call. The Chairperson has been in the country to attend the Board of Directors meeting that took place in Kigali from May18-19, the first of its kind to take place in African.

The Education for All Fast-Track Initiative (EFA FTI) was created as the first ever global compact on education, to help low-income countries achieve a free, universal basic education. It was launched in 2002 as a global partnership between donor and developing country partners to ensure accelerated progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. All low-income countries which demonstrate serious commitment to achieve universal primary completion can join FTI

The FTI has been supporting the Rwandan education sector since 2007. In 2007 they awarded Rwanda a $70million grant as two years sector budget support. For the 2009/10 financial year they awarded a further $35million support. In November last year the Board of Directors agreed a further grant of $70million to Rwanda to cover the next three financial years.

This financing will be vital for the Ministry to realize its goals of improving education quality whilst also further expanding access under the new 12YBE policy. It is also hoped that it will again achieve a catalytic effect on other development partners to increase their own support to the Ministry and help plug the financing gap, as calculated for the new Education Sector Strategic Plan 2010-15.

Over the past year, the partnership has undertaken several changes in its governance structure particularly towards ensuring more developing country representation. In this context, and based on Rwanda’s record in showing the EFA-FTI impact on the ground, in 2009 Rwanda became part of the Board of Directors where we represent Kenya, Mozambique, Lesotho, Madagascar and Zambia. For the first time, the Board of Directors meeting was held in Africa, specifically here in Kigali on 18th-19th May 2011.