By Anne MUHIZA
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the premier grant aid agency of the Korean government, last Tuesday (October 04, 2022) held a first Project Steering Committee meeting (PSC meeting) and a Master Plan Inception Workshop for the “Tax Policy and Administration Reform Consulting Project in Rwanda”.
Major stakeholders attended the PSC, including KOICA Rwanda Office Country Director Mr. CHON, Gyong-Shik, Korea Institute of Public Finance (KIPF) President Dr. KIM, Jae-Jin, MINECOFIN Director General of Tax Policy Mr. Abel NTEGANO , and RRA Assistant Commissioner in charge of Tax Control Division Mr. Emmy MBERA.
This Project is worth USD 1,920,000(RWF 2,016,000,000), and it’s being implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) and Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) from 2020 to 2024.
The Project objectives are to lay the foundation for efficient, fair, and streamlined tax systems in Rwanda by Developing a Tax Policy and Tax Administration Master Plan through research and consulting and Strengthen the capacity of tax officials for effective policy-making and efficient tax administration.
KIPF, founded in July 1992 as the only national research institute in the areas of tax and public finance in the Republic of Korea, is the implementing partner selected by KOICA. KIPF has raised the nation’s status to a higher level by establishing the government’s major policies through numerous research and studies since its inception. President, Dr. KIM, Jae-jin is directly participating as a Pproject Manager of this project.
During the 1st PSC Meeting, the PSC members shared their roles and responsibilities and a common understanding of the Project organization between all parties. A half-year progress report on the Project implementation and an action plan for following half-year were also presented.
Mr. Abel NTEGANO, MINECOFIN Director General of Tax Policy, expressed active support from the Rwandan government for the successful implementation of the project, saying, "We hope that this project will create an efficient, fair and simple tax system in Rwanda." And also Mr. CHON Gyong-Shik, Country Director of KOICA remarked “We hope that following KOICA's project for "Enhancement of EBM System and Development of Taxpayer Relationship Management System" from 2018 to 2022 worth of USD 6.1 Million(RWF 6.4 Billion)), this project will help secure transparent financial resources necessary for Rwanda's economic development."
Lastly, KIPF President Dr. KIM Jae-Jin, an expert in the tax field said, "Based on Korea's know-how and experience in the tax administration field, I hope that MINECOFIN and RRA, where many close friends are working, will help securing development resources essential for Rwanda's Vision 2050."
Through the Master Plan Inception Workshop, the PMC(KIPF) will share the development status and consultation on research contents. The PSC and TC will mutually review the development of and work of the Master Plan to ensure the effectiveness and operational stability of the Project
On Friday (October 07, 2022), KOICA Rwanda Office also held a Local Capacity Building Workshop that aimed to strengthen capabilities for effective tax administration in accordance with the development of the Master Plan for working-level public officials.
KOICA also prepared a special lecture featuring a trainer who received a Master's Degree in Korea under KOICA scholarship program.
In his presentation, Mr. ERISA Kato who completed the 2017 KOICA- Master’s degree Program in Economic Policy and Development at Korea University discussed the skills obtained from the program and he shared his experience in Korea.
Since 1991, KOICA has been implementing its grant aid programs in Rwanda, disbursing about USD 150 million through various projects and capacity-building programs. KOICA officially opened its Rwanda Office in 2011. KOICA currently has over ten ongoing projects in Rwanda in the education, agriculture and ICT sectors. With the outbreak of COVID-19, KOICA has also supported the GoR in response to the pandemic by providing a mobile testing vehicle, walk-through testing booths and personal protective equipment (PPE) worth about USD 1 million.